June 26, 2018

The Journal of Prison Education and Reentry (JPER) seeks qualified scholars to serve as peer-reviewers for research manuscripts. Reviewers are invited to join our review board, or are welcome to be occasional reviewers, if that is preferable.

JPER focuses on issues relevant to prison education and reentry by researchers around the world. It also includes a section for articles by practitioners. Research studies and theoretical submissions undergo rigorous, blinded peer review by the review board. JPER is developing a reputation for publishing challenging and rigorous scholarship.

If you're interested in being part of the JPER reviewing team, please contact us at .

March 1, 2018

Dear JPER Readers,

Welcome to the Journal of Prison Education and Reentry (JPER) in our new home on the Virginia Commonwealth University Library platform. JPER began a little over three years ago and has been hosted at the University of Bergen in Norway under the editorship of Arve Asbjørnsen. I would like to pay tribute to the pioneering work of Arve as Lead Editor and thank the University of Bergen for hosting JPER over the last number of years.

As we enter into a new phase for JPER there are a number of changes in editorial personnel that I would like to announce. Ginger Walker will continue as our Managing Editor. After due consideration, the JPER Board appointed me as Lead Editor. Our Practitioner Editor, Anne Costelloe, is leaving this position and Jeremiah Gee has been appointed as Practitioner Editor. Our Research Editor, Bill Muth, will also relinquish his position this summer and it will be taken on by Aislinn O’Donnell. I would like to thank my colleagues and friends, Anne and Bill, for their enormous effort in helping to establish JPER as one of the leading journals in prison education internationally. Both have agreed to stay on the JPER Board to provide their wisdom and guidance as we enter a new phase. It is also an appropriate time to recognize the work of the other members of the Executive Board: Thom Gehring, Carolyn Eggleston and Terje Manger, and the many reviewers who have contributed to the publication of JPER since our inception. I look forward to working with colleagues – old and new – as we embark on a new chapter in the onward progression of JPER.

The new platform will allow us to continue publication of JPER. While the platform has changed, its principles have not. JPER will remain open access and available to all in the prison and correctional community and beyond.

At JPER we recognize the challenges facing all those involved in the practice of prison education – educators, learners, prison and support staff. We are acutely aware of the places where education takes place. As with all pedagogy and adult education, prison education is not a neutral program that can be removed from the context in which it operates. It must be considered in the wider social, political, economic and cultural context. Prison education has the added dynamic of taking place behind walls, cut off from the public gaze, and shaped by unique institutional culture/s. Although it is influenced by national educational policy, the underlying ethos of education in prison – whether explicitly or implicitly – primarily emanates in association with penal policy in individual jurisdictions.

We understand that prison/correctional education differs across countries and jurisdictions and the philosophy underpinning it is not homogenous, nor is its practice uniform. This is what makes the publication of JPER essential as we face uncertain times. As the demands intensify to determine “what works” on the basis of “evidence based policy”, prison education needs to distinguish itself from penal philosophies that might be inimical to our pedagogical and adult education principles. We must stand on the integrity of our profession, based on principles of adult education and pedagogy, rather than be lured into the evaluative and correctional milieu of modern penalty. We hope JPER will continue to provide a space for dialogue about these issues as we may meet challenges with the prevailing penal ideology dominant in many jurisdictions.

There are a number of similar issues to contend with for educators and learners in prisons across jurisdictions. These include an appreciation of the marginalization of learner groups, with social class, minority background and race impacting the rates of incarceration. We are also cognizant of the level of education of learners and many who have had a negative experience of education first time round. We are involved in debates around the definition of prison education; accessing education inside; resources for special groups of prisoners, in particular foreign prisoners and prisoners on protection/segregation. More than ever, prison educators need professional and organizational supports and JPER hopes to be one of these.

Educators in prison appreciate the challenges of trying to create spaces for freedom and creativity in coercive environments. JPER will continue to offer opportunities to examine “what works” and what has worked historically, based on pedagogical principles by publishing high quality peer-reviewed research and reflexive practice and act as a beacon for the exchange of ideas in prison education and reentry.

You will also find us on Facebook. Please join the conversation as we endeavor to build our journal together. I appeal to all those involved in prison education and learning to consider writing a research paper, contributing examples of best practice, writing a book review or updating us on policies to make JPER the primary source for prison education and reentry. I look forward to working with prison education researchers, prison educators and learners inside as we embark on a new phase of our journey.

Dr Cormac Behan, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Lead Editor, Journal of Prison Education and Re-entry
University of Sheffield

Sincere thanks to our reviewers:

Brittnie Aiello – Merrimack College, US
Lauren Baosso – Virginia Commonwealth University, US
Blythe Bowen – Virginia Commonwealth University, US
Dorien Brosens – Vrije Universiteit Brusel, Belgium
Gerry Czerniawski – University of East London, UK
Paul Downes – St. Patrick’s College, Ireland
Paul Draus – University of Michigan, US
Helene Eide – Uni Research, Norway
Ole-Johan Eikeland – Eikeland forsking ug undervising, Norway
Tony Gaskew – University of Pittsburg, US
Margaret Giles – Edith Cowan University, Australia
Jill Gordon – Virginia Commonwealth University, US
Walter Hammerschick – Insitut für Rechts und Kriminalsoziologie, Austria
Ueli Hostettler – Institute für Weitebildung, Switzerland
Lise Jones – University of Bergen, Norway
Michael Krezmian – University of Massachusetts, US
Faith Lutze – Washington State University, US
Williams Obiozor – Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria
Anne Pike – Open University, UK
Kristine Pytash – Kent State University, US
Julliette Roddy – University of Michigan, US
John S. Ryals – Jefferson Parish Dept. of Juvenile Services, Louisiana, US
Philip Taylor – New York University, US
Alana VanGundy – Miami University, US
John Vorhaus – University of London, UK
Kevin Warner – University College, Dublin, Ireland
Kariane Westrheim – University of Bergen, Norway
Sarah Woodland - Griffith University, Australia