Prisons are expensive and there is little evidence they work. It costs £40,000 a year to keep a person in prison – about ten times what we spend on a secondary school pupil – but eight out of ten prisoners re-offend within two years. In 2002 the annual cost of failure was estimated to be £11 billion, the human cost beyond measure. Arguing that it was time to re-think this cycle of failure I started to work in prisons, spending time with prisoners and prison staff seeking to understand the challenges. This work informed a collaboration with the architects Buschow Henley and the design of the Learning Prison. This alternative model takes up less land, is cheaper to build and maintain and is modelled around a Canadian prison regime that shows the long term reduction in re-offending. The Learning Prison has not yet been built although in the intervening years the costs of the current system – both human and financial – have continued to escalate. A pamphlet describing the Learning Prison is available here