G. Pillera

Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
Today a basic media competence forms a part of the cultural capital of which people cannot renounce to exercise an informed and critical citizenship, to find a job or to practise a profession, to cultivate own social relationships and interests. If we take into account that the greater part of detainees comes from sectors of population characterized by social marginality and cultural deprivation, then a media education and the right of access to the media represent important means to break convicts' cultural isolation as well as to prepare successfully their reintegration.
Therefore, in an economic and social landscape that changes so quickly with the spread of ICT, appears fundamental to invest in long-life learning, since the isolation due to imprisonment risks making obsolete or inadequate the civic, professional and social skills of the former convict, just in the crucial moment of his reintegration into society. This investment, precisely, cannot consider the education to and through the media (especially the even more widespread and hybrid network media). Both from the point of view of the critical reception, and from that of the active production, the media literacy (and specifically e-literacy) is a basic prerequisite for the empowerment of individuals and social groups, since it constitutes an essential step to understand the reality, to self-represent, to communicate, to unite, to express oneself and to act, as a citizen, worker, person.
The presented paper – which is part of a more in-depth comparative research on e-learning in Italian and Spanish prisons, funded through a Global Grant of the Rotary International Foundation – aims at drawing the European landscape regarding the access to the electronic media in prison, identifying the national models tested across the continent and outlining strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities.