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Mum builds new career at North Wales prison combining skills in criminology and childcare

1 November 2017

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A mum of three is combining expertise in childcare and criminology for a new career at Wrexham’s HMP Berwyn after returning to study in her 30s.

Former nursery worker and nanny Lisa Owen, 31, studied for a BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice at Wrexham Glyndwr University while raising her children at home in Denbighshire.

And months before she found out she’d secured a first class degree, Lisa had already secured a post as a play specialist working for the Prison Advice and Care Trust (Pact).

“I found out about the course through a friend and given my background in childcare I was quite interested in the theories of crime and in particular why young people commit criminal offences,” said Lisa, who collects her degree in a ceremony at the university this week.

“It fitted perfectly around my young family, who were aged eight, five and one when I started the degree.

“Achieving a first class degree is something I could only once have dreamt of and, other than my children, it’s certainly one of my proudest achievements.”

Lisa’s role with Pact involves working with children who visit the prison, organising activities and ensuring their needs are met.

In the near future, she’s also set to start outreach work with children who are most affected by the loss of a family member to custody.

Lisa said: “I’m extremely lucky to have such a lovely job and I wouldn’t be where I am now without the knowledge I’ve gained over the last three years.

“It combines everything I know about childcare, criminology and criminal justice and brings it all together.”

As well as achieving a first class degree, Lisa was nominated by her lecturers to take part in a HMIP Inspection of a Youth Justice Organisation in Newport.

“It was an honour to be asked to get involved,” added Lisa. “As soon as I began the course it quickly felt like the right choice.

"Lectures were interesting and interactive and when I did start to struggle a little in the second year, the assistance I had from student services was invaluable. They were a key part of my success in the end.

“I’m now considering studying for a Masters degree as I’ve found a new passion in looking at attachment breakdowns and its relationship to crime.”

Hundreds of graduates are receiving awards from Wrexham Glyndwr University across five ceremonies in the William Aston Hall from 1-3 November.

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