Some applications may be received from those applying to study during agreed release periods from prison. This is known as ‘released on temporary licence’ (ROTL). Any applicant in this position will have been subject to stringent risk assessment by prison and probation staff before being allowed to apply.
Students on ROTL may face additional, practical barriers to success whilst studying. The bureaucratic processes associated with prisons can be slow and cumbersome. Providers should consider making reasonable adjustments for these students where appropriate. For example, adjustments might be considered for assignment deadlines where the submission delay was outside of the control of the student (caused by the prison).
When applying any of these adjustments, providers should be mindful of the sensitive nature of criminal records data. Use of this data depends on proportion and necessity. It may not be necessary for staff in departments who deal with extenuating circumstances, for example, to know the specific reasons for a ROTL student’s application for an extension.
There are growing examples of partnerships between prisons and Universities. Providers who establish these connections should ensure that this work is reflected in their other student recruitment policies. For example, would a person who participated in one of these programmes whilst in prison, be able to join your university on release?