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Here is some of HMP Swalesides PICTA Projects students views. Of what the PICTA project means to them and how they feel about the project.



This is a good opportunity to better ourselves and to access valuable courses. This could not have been possible without the association made with “CISCO NETWORK ACADEMY” and THE PRISON SYSTEM via the GOVERNEMENT policy to invest in the prison population, in order to better prepare the ones who will be release one day

to find a job or to be up to date with the demand of the market.

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PICTA Testimonial 

I am a PICTA Peer Tutor and I completed the course in September 2005.  I found the course very fulfilling and extremely rewarding. 


 To conclude, I think what Cisco Systems and the Prison

Service are doing with the PICTA project is extremely

commendable and PICTA should be supported by everyone

who supports the rehabilitation of offenders. Offenders in

he prison estate should grab this opportunity with both

arms, for it has the potential to alter their lives for the better.

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PICTA Testimonial



Being here at the Picta Project has given me a reason not to re-offend and look to the future. If I hadn’t started here then I’d still be working as a Cleaner wishing my time away. I’ve loved working with PC’s for as long as I can remember and being here has given me the confidence to pursue a career in I.T. The qualifications that I’ll gain from  Click Here To Read More

PICTA Testimonial


Since being a peer tutor in Picta I have developed my own IT skills as well as supporting the students.

Students are given the opportunity to undertake Embedded Wider and Core Key Skills.

Student feedback indicates that they willingly participating in the Picta program knowing that they are gaining industry recognised qualifications.

As a peer tutor I am fully supported in furthering my own personal development.

PICTA Testimonial


This course has taught me not to be afraid of technology, and to bolster my belief in myself that I can learn and be an asset to society on release.

 I intend to learn all I can from this course and to either work in, or teach IT on release from Prison.


Tim Whitting


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PICTA Testimonial


I started the PICTA course in May 2005. Since then I have completed the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) and received my certificate. I was really pleased with the achievement as at one time I had a real fear of technology when it came to computers.


Since completing ECDL I have went on to studying I T Essentials One. At the moment I have completed nine modules of the fourteen that is required to finish the course, and I feel that I have gained real qualifications that will me find good employment when I am released.


The PICTA course has been really good for my self confidents and my self esteem. It has also kept me very busy, which is a big bonus when you are doing time. I must also say that I feel that it has played a big part in my rehabilitation.


Phil Peskett HW9749


We had to start from the beginning learning how a computer works and how to use the well known software in the Office Suite. This basic computer course is known as ECDL (European Computer Diving Licence), Which is a great tool for Further Education. I found it very interesting and easy to follow, the trainers were there to help if there were any problems and there was no pressure to finish within a given time.


I’ve been in prison for over 2 years now and know this is as good as it gets: being able to work with computers, creating music with other accomplished musicians and producers.


The set up is very basic but the results are respectful. It sounds strange but I am quite excited about being at Swaleside at the moment because I am able to do something that I really love and maybe carry these job prospects with me for my eventual release.


PICTA Testimonial

Communication and technological literacy is more important today than ever before, Swaleside Information Technology Academy has given me the opportunity, to transform from a computer illiterate to a network literate.


So far, I have completed the following courses:

  • European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
  • IT Essential I
  • CCNA I
  • CCNA II 

During this period I have developed a solid footing in Network Basics and Skills.


My aim is to complete CCNA III & IV and the Panduit Network Infrastructural Essential (PNIE) course.


I am very enthusiastic to complete these courses, as this will give me a solid background to enter the information technology world when I finish my sentence.

This has been of immense benefit to me. I can confidently perform the following task with ease:

  • build and maintain computers
  • design setup, configure and maintain Networks
  • install, configure, upgrade and maintain operating system
  • diagnose and resolve problems of personal computers among others

This, to me is one of the best rehabilitation programmes ever in prison to help address re-offending. I do hope the authority concern will continue to fund and promote this programme to other prisons.

What PICTA Is To Me


When I’m not in custody, I work as a music producer. Even though I used a computer everyday to make music I never really tried to learn anything else. Since starting PICTA, I’ve realised there was so much more to learn and there’s no better way than this course.


On this course you will learn everything from the basics to much more advanced information, at your own pace, with no-one looking over your shoulder or any deadlines.


Earn your European Computer Driving Licence and go on from there.


We are now doing Music Technology it has really put the icing on the cake, working on projects with inmates and creating music is absolutely brilliant. I actually look forward to getting up and going to work every day.


Richi Ellis GJ6872

 PICTA Testimonial 

I am a resident of Swaleside Correction Establishment, since 2004 to 2006 I have been studying Information and Communication technology through PICTA WORKSHOP, which have been of great benefit and achievement for me.                                       


Information, Communication and Network technological  literate is more important today than ever before, I have been able to gain and improve my knowledge in information and Communication technology through Swaleside Information Technology Academy (PICTA WORKSHOP) .


During this period I have developed a solid skill and foundation in PC, Routing Basics, Switching Basics, Cabling Infrastructural and Networking Basics.


 I have successfully completed the following courses:

      CCNA 1

      CCNA 11

      CCNA 111

      Panduit Network Infrastructural Essential

      IT Essential 1

      European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)


*   I will use the knowledge I have gain to demonstrate the ability to use, enter, load, manipulate and edit text in Word processing, Database, Spreadsheet and Presentation facilities. Troubleshoot, build and maintain and configuration of PCs, Bridges, Routers, Switches, Virtual LAN, Peer-to-Peer Communication, Client Server Relationship and Network Management Strategies.


*    Planning, designing, installation and termination of copper media, fibre-optic media and telecommunication equipments, application of structure cabling systems, standards, safety and codes.  


*     Applying the mechanics of Sub netting, Supper netting and Address Allocation, Network IP Addresses, Subnet Mask Address and identifying the Classes of Routing Protocols.


*     Applying of Access Control List fundamentals in network environment, Trunking and Port security in routing and switching environment.                                                                                               Installation of simple wireless LAN and operation and technology of the IEEE 802.3 `Ethernet` variants


This course will give me the opportunity to be self employ upon completion of my sentence, knowing fully well that it’s difficult for ex-offenders to gain employment after serving their prison term.


I just want to say, without the good tutors and staffs in PICTA WORKSHOP I could not have made it so far.

Thanks for their assisterants and hard work