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Social justice in the community

Prison Partnership Project

Female prisoners and university students come together to inspire creativity and social change.

Prison Partnership Project Logo

The York St John University Prison Partnership Project was founded in 2013 by Rachel Conlon, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Theatre.

It was born with social justice at the heart of its mission. It is a partnership between York St John University, HMP New Hall (closed female prison) and HMP Askham Grange (open female prison). We provide weekly creative arts programmes in prisons. 

The partnership brings together two different kinds of communities - the university community, and female prisoners and prison staff. The intention is for both communities to be a part of a transformative and educational learning experience through creative collaboration. 

Through quality arts engagement we bring these two worlds together, opening up conversations that explore perspectives and perceptions of women in the criminal justice system, beyond media myth and societal stigma.

Performer kneeling on floor blowing feathers from hand

About the project

Find out more about how we work with female prisoners and the wider impact of the project.

Performers sitting on chairs with feathers on floor

Student opportunities

Find out about module opportunities for York St John University students.

Group of performers, one with microphone

Prison programmes

Explore the range of courses we run for female prisoners.

The core feminist agenda creating work to empower the women has been an eye-opening experience helping me gain a deeper understanding of women’s experiences guiding my values not just as an artist, but as a person.
 Lydia, Drama, Education and Community BA

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