Prisoner outsmarts Cambridge postgrads
A convict stole the top spot in a criminology course from the confines of a high-security Prison.
28 year old Gareth, whose full name is being withheld by the Ministry of Justice, studied with Cambridge MPhil students, and achieved a higher mark than most of them.
The 8-week course is taught at HMP Grendon in Buckinghamshire, where students work with a select number of prisoners.The course was designed to provide quality education to inmates at the prison, and give Cambridge students a new perspective on those in the prison system.
Gareth described the course as “transformational”, and was surprised that the inmates and students “had more in common than I thought we would”.
Dr Amy Ludlow, a law lecturer at Caius, told The Times that Gareth was a model student. “What makes Gareth great is his eloquence, his passion for social justice issues, his high capacity to process and probe complex ideas… and his deep humanity and humility. He loves ideas, was ready to challenge himself and put in the hard work necessary”
Dr. Ruth Armstrong, another organiser of the course, said of Gareth “We know there is a lot of talent within prisons. He worked very very hard on the course, and it is unsurprising that his diligence led to academic success”
Gareth has already had two papers accepted by academic journals, and has been made a conditional offer to complete the MPhil by Pembroke.
He is 5 years in to his indefinite sentence, but intends to finish the course when released.