The visit to the prison, with more than 900 inmates, was part of the programme to give students an insight to the different careers options that they can progress onto from the course in the uniformed public services from the Prison Service and Police to the Armed Services.
The students saw the facilities for offenders, learnt vital skills required to deal with incidents, and met with psychiatrists who lead on rehabilitation programmes.
Public Services lecturer Jon Agyeman said:
Derby College Uniformed Public Services students are the only external group allowed to visit HMP Whatton which houses the largest number of sex offenders in Europe.
We have had the privilege of being allowed to bring students here for the past six years which has motivated several of them students to apply for the Prison Service over the years.
This term alone we have had visits from the Royal Marines, Navy, Police and Karma Nirvana which supports victims of forced marriages and violence.
This is therefore part of a wider programme to broaden the students’ horizons and give them an insight into a wide range of careers.
One of the students, Danille Ball (18) added:
This was a real eye opener and has totally changed by perception of what I thought a prison and the inmates would be like.
Despite the high security, life seemed to be extremely normal and it was particularly interesting to hear about the rehabilitation work underway.