My undergraduate studies gave me a chance to develop intellectually. Today I see differently the upbringing of my child, who is waiting for me at home. I am confident I did not waste this time in prison,” says one of the five inmates at the Detention Centre in Lublin who earned their BA degrees in Family Studies. The inmates wrote their theses under the supervision of Rector of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Fr. Prof. Miroslaw Kalinowski. Since 2013, nearly thirty people serving prison sentences have graduated from this university.
BA dissertation reviewers noted the substantive value of the theses, which follow generally accepted academic standards. “The graduates exhibit great humility and knowledge. The high level of their dissertations, which mostly concerned the family, as well as the students’ appropriate grade-point average, earned them very good grades,” highlighted Dr Zaborowska from the Catholic University of Lublin Faculty of Social Sciences.
During the three years of study, the inmates followed the same curriculum as full-time students at the university. The lecturers provided them with academic publications and offered ongoing consultations. Both the faculty and the students agree that they achieved success together.
“The Catholic University of Lublin gave me a chance for intellectual development. I see many things differently today, even when it comes to raising my child, who is waiting for me at home. I am convinced I want to start my master’s degree in October,” says one inmate.
Since 2013, nearly thirty people serving prison sentences have graduated from the Catholic University of Lublin. This is undoubtedly a huge endeavour, confirmed by its social reintegration outcomes. Eighty percent of the graduates of the Catholic University of Lublin who are detention centre inmates do not re-offend after finishing serving their sentence. “These are people who, returning to society, are prepared to fulfil their designated social roles,” stresses Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Fr. Prof. Miroslaw Kalinowski.
Work on launching the Catholic University of Lublin’s Centre for Studies for Inmates started in April this year. According to the letter of intent signed in this regard with Poland’s Central Board of the Prison Service, the Centre is to enable convicts to receive higher education and to assimilate core ethical and humanistic values. As Fr. Prof. Miroslaw Kalinowski emphasized, the project is not only the leading one in Poland but can also be seen as a benchmark for all penitentiary units around the world. The Centre for Studies of Inmates is scheduled to be launched as early as October 2022.