For those who know their prisons - and I'm sure that you all do - this will be instantly recognisable as Pentonville. It opened in 1842 and other than a few licks of paint and swapping the single beds for bunks I'm not sure that the wings have changed much since the Victorians proudly opened it as the first of the new wave of "modern prisons". It is built to a panopticon design with four wings off a central lobby. Each wing has five landings and it holds over 1300 men in total - it's a big jail. One wing alone holds 500 prisoners.
It's the first time I've been here and it was smashing seeing the great work being done by the education staff and having a chat with guys interested in studying with the OU. Some are already studying so we were able to talk about study skills and stuff. I always learn about what it's like to study in custody at these sessions; some challenges are the same for OU students anywhere while others are specific to studying in prison and one or two might be site specific. It can even be different on different wings.
Prisons are in the news just now; they are being starved of resources, most particularly staff, but the work being done in them is often breathtaking in its imagination and scope. Today showed this and I feel very lucky being able to spend time with gifted education practitioners and the learners they work with.