Current Research Projects

RENYO: Re-engaging young offenders with education and learning (2018-2021)

In many EU countries, for young people aged 10-17 years, having come into conflict with the law within their country and having been incarcerated, re-offending rates are high, for example, in the UK, the re-offending rate is 67% within one year of release which suggests they are not engaging in education employment and training. Further to this, as many as 9 out of 10 young offenders leave school early, having dropped out in the 6 months or more prior to being incarcerated.


In This project a special, way of learning is adapedt for the context of custodial settings: Authentic inquiry is an intervention designed to build personally relevant knowledge which is useful in education. The personally relevant topic is identified by the learner, enabling greater opportunity to connect with the learning process. This is done by taking the learners’ interest through their own narratives and stories (personal) and navigating this towards the production of an ‘artefact’ such as a piece of art, poster or other product that has some external educational value (public). In so doing, there is a connecting of the personal to the public. This intervention has been shown to be effective in re-engaging disengaged learners in both the UK and Australia.

The project is supported by a digital infrastructure which facilitates learners’ journeys (both education staff and young offenders). The digital infrastructure and its associated tools, enable users to assess progress along their journey, and areas of focus for them as learners. The infrastructure includes a repository for online educational resources and a community of practice for both learners and educators (trainers and education staff).

Education staff in secure custodial settings are the main target group of the project. The long term impact of this training could reach hundreds of young offenders (aged 10-17) through the staff training. The project has the potential to reach at least 100 young offenders in the secure settings that are part of this project as the ultimate beneficiary group of the project. Furthermore, up to 40 educators will be trained during the life of the project.


The project is coordinated by the University of Gloucester, Cheltenham, UK and has Partner in Italy, Spain and Germany.


First results will be presented on a conference at FHD, Dresden on 23nd of January 2010.


More information:

Funding amount: EUR 60,000


Prof. Dr. Yvonne Knospe

Dipl.-Soz. Karsten König


Between Ages: Pilgrimage as a Modern Socio-pedagogical Method (2015-2018)

This Project aim is the development of alternative methods and measures to imprisonment of young offenders and increase the chances of NEETs for social inclusion. Between ages evolves strategies towards juvenile crime prevention via the implementation of a platform for policies and practices. The network combates social exclusion, prevents recurrence and early school leaving, promotes social security in community and contains crimes related to petty crime, promotes commitment and empowerment of young people and positive initiatives into adulthood, and enforces last but not least public spending with regard to health issues, welfare and judicial affairs. The overall objective is hence to promote the Europe2020 strategy in the field of youth and the creation of a European association for coordinating pilgrimage activities for young offenders and NEET.


The project was coordinated by the FHD with partner in Belgium (ALBA), France (SEUIL), Italiy (L'oasi; Lunghi Camini) and Germany (Bischof-Benno-Haus).


During this project, the method of long-distance learning walks with young offenders was described and three NGO's in Italy and Germay where supported, building up own projects. More information in a short video and on the project-website:


Hiking towards the future - a film about the long way to Santiago de Compostella.


Reports and documentation in English, German, France and Italian:

Funding amount: EUR 100,000


Prof. Dr. Yvonne Knospe

Dipl.-Soz. Karsten König



HalKoTex: Textiles for Posture Correction (2015-2018 / 200.000,00 €)



Several project proposals pending - update to follow shortly

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