From our classrooms ... to the nation's Prison cells

Monday 2 March 2009, 7:24PM

By Stead & Daughters Ltd



New Zealand’s education system is a political hot-potato: changes are drastically called for, but just what changes are needed is fervently debated.

And so comes the release of Dr Alison Sutherland’s book ‘Classroom to Prison Cell’.

This book contains never-before-told stories from youth in New Zealand’s Youth Justice system. Reprinted directly: word for word, expletives and all.

Compiled from interviews carried out by Dr Alison Sutherland, and with a powerful foreword by Andrew Becroft, Principal Youth Court Judge, the book highlights the effects of our education system on disenfranchised youth.

“The release of this book is timely. We face significant challenges as a community to insist on an education system which is inclusive and involves all our young people, especially the most difficult and challenging in that group”, states Judge Becroft.

The issues are topical, contentious and demand our attention. It exposes what educationalists, politicians, parents, social workers, the justice system and anyone who cares about society’s wellbeing all need to know.

Despite this, Youth Justice inmates have never before had the opportunity to have their views published.

As a conclusion, Sutherland utilises her many years of educational experience to provide new, insightful and practical recommendations. She will next be speaking in Wanganui on 19th March 2009 at the Rutherford Intermediate School Auditorium at 4pm.

Classroom to Prison Cell is an accessible read - full of sadness and despair, but also hope.