Although foreign national prisoners have equal rights on prison education, in practice, their educational needs are rarely met due to organizational barriers. Education behind foreign bars (Eabt – the Netherlands) offers a solution to this problem by providing distance education to their nationals detained abroad. The PArticipation and Learning in Detention (PALD) research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB – Belgium) set up an exploratory mixed-methods case study to gain insight into the working of Eabt. The study results can potentially inspire countries or organizations that would like to set up distance education for their nationals detained abroad. Among other things, it is important to set up an extensive network of partners all over the world, to further develop the digital learning opportunities in prison, and to provide both motivational and content-related support to the students. As up until now little efforts are taken by prison authorities to provide distance education to foreign national prisoners, further research is needed to find out why no action is taken and what is needed to make distance education for foreign national prisoners a common practice in Europe.
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