'The prison creative writing class offers many benefits for the students and the instructor. Research has found that inmates in writing programs report improved self-image and reduced emotional stress, an increase in literacy, and more post-release opportunities. For the instructor, the reward can reside in the experience of helping prisoners develop practical compositional and coping skills that can lead to publication, performance, and outside study. However, the delivery of writing programs in a volatile, high security environment is a challenging endeavour that requires specific guidance.
'This paper offers insights gained from implementing and maintaining a creative writing postgraduate program inside an Australian maximum security women’s prison over a period of six years. After opening the discussion with a brief overview of prisoners’ rights to education, it evaluates the nature of prison education and arts education in Australia. This is followed by an identification of the challenges of teaching inside a prison regime and an exploration of how these were resolved.' (Publication summary)