Making the Connection

Allowing access to digital higher education in a correctional environment


  • Helen Farley
  • Sharron Dove
  • Stephen Seymour
  • John Macdonald
  • Catherine Abraham
  • Chris Lee
  • Susan Hopkins
  • Jacinta Cox
  • Louise Patching



correctional education, digital inclusion, digital divide, higher education, digital equity


In most Australian correctional jurisdictions, prisoners are not allowed access to the internet precluding them from participating in higher education online. This paper reports on an Australian government-funded project, Making the Connection, which is taking digital technologies, that don’t require internet access, into correctional centres to enable prisoners to enroll in a suite of pre-tertiary and undergraduate programs. A version of the University of Southern Queensland’s learning management system has been installed onto the education server of participating correctional centres. The second stage of the project will see notebook computers preloaded with course materials, allocated to participating prisoners. At the time of writing, the project has been deployed at eight correctional centres in Queensland and Western Australia, with negotiations underway for further rollout to Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. It is expected that the technologies and processes developed for this project will enable the delivery of higher education to other cohorts without access to reliable internet access.