That the education activities remain under the

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that the education activities remain under the auspices of external bodies: in Greece, most of the educational and training programs are implemented in prison by external institutions but some courses are organized by members of prison staff. Significant differences exist among the countries whether prisoners have the opportunity to enrol in distance learning courses. Such learning is possible in the UK, Spain, France and Portugal. In Spain, as a development of the penitentiary legislation, a collaboration agreement with the Universidad Nacional INTEGRATION WITH THE EXTERNAL EDUCATION SYSTEM AND DISTANCE LEARNING
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European Prison Observatory Prison in Europe: overview and trends 27 de Educación a Distancia (UNED) has been signed. According to the agreement, prisoners can study under identical conditions as the rest of the citizens, at least as far as the university services are concerned (direct access to older than 25 years, grades, degree and doctorate). Students have appropriate mentoring, support for distance and didactic material. In the UK, prisons may be able to offer prisoners the opportunity to enrol in distance learning courses, e.g. with The Open University. But no funding is provided for prison higher education; inmates are expected to apply for loans, although funding may be provided by outside agencies, for example the Prisoners Education Trust. In France, inmates may follow courses through distance learning programmes via organisations that come under the authority of the Ministry of National Education. Inmates must however bear the costs of distance learning programmes, which may be quite expensive. In Portugal prisoners can apply to universities offering remote studies programmes. Nevertheless, there seems to be a lack of interest on the part of many inmates. Elsewhere, distance learning is not envisaged or facilitated. Even when such a possibility exists, prisoners often cannot afford the high costs. “Every institution shall have a library for the use of all prisoners, adequately stocked with a wide range of both recreational and educational resources, books and other media.” (EPR 28.5); moreover, “Wherever possible, the prison library should be organi sed in co-operation with community library services.” (EPR 28.6). Libraries are indeed present in many prisons, but the number and variety of resources varies: some libraries are well equipped, others very poorly. In some cases there is only one central library. In big prisons, there are small libraries within the sections. Prison libraries are often poorly supplied in books of foreign languages: in Latvia, in particular, many remain stocked with outdated books from soviet time, predominantly in Latvian and Russian. In Poland, due to the fact that prison libraries obtain books from public Polish libraries, they do not typically possess many books in foreign languages. Although the law requires it, in Italy and Portugal the offers in languages other than Italian and Portuguese are very limited or non-existent. The availability of DVDs and other audio-visual
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