Britannica Education has been collaborating with the Ministry of Justice’s Virtual Campus for several years. The goal is to whitelist Britannica for use in prisons in the UK and Wales.
Addressing the Need for Safe Communication during COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prisoners were banned from receiving visits from family and friends, which made it essential to have a safe face timing solution. This need was fulfilled by a company named Purple Visits. However, the Ministry of Justice required an internet service to use this solution.
Britannica in HMP Five Wells Prison
G4S, a private prison group, submitted a proposal for a new prison called HMP Five Wells in Northampton. Britannica was included in their proposal recommendations. BT secured the contract for broadband, and together with Socrates, Britannica is now available to all 1700 prisoners at HMP Five Wells.
Britannica’s Access to Three Major Educational Providers
Britannica’s platform has been successfully delivered through the Virtual Campus in the last few months. Three of the four biggest education providers, People Plus, MK College, and Novus, have subscribed to Britannica, allowing access to their educational alternatives to the internet.
Key Features of Britannica for Prisoners
- Updated content written by a team of 120 Britannica editors, differentiated into three reading levels suitable for different abilities.
- A read-aloud tool for each article, enabling non-readers to access the content
- A translation tab for overseas prisoners who are not fluent in English
- Features that encourage critical thinking, helping prisoners develop research skills and explore job opportunities they may never have been enthusiastic about
- Multi-modal and differentiated approach to reading to enhance reading skills
- Parental engagement through Primary levels to help with homework duties
- Articles that are unbiased and without political allegiance, helping to prevent radicalisation of prisoners.