Across the UK, young people in the prison service are among the most marginalised in society and often have limited access to qualifications, opportunities and aspirations.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been running in prisons for over a decade and the expansion of our work in prisons and Young Offender Institutions is part of our commitment to make DofE programmes accessible to all by 2026; focusing on supporting those who currently face barriers to participation, so that every young person has a chance to take part.

Doing their DofE in prison gives young people a chance to turn their lives around on release – helping them discover new talents, providing focus, motivation and responsibility, and giving them a widely respected achievement to help them fulfil their potential after release.

Get in touch to learn more and find out how to start running DofE in your secure estate and read how the DofE has positively impacted *Tom and William.

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Young Offender, Tom* initially started his DofE as a way to spend time out of his cell, and hoped it would equip him with more skills and experience to put on his CV. However, he soon discovered that his Award taught him so much more.

A young offender in a library holding an open book. His face is not in the frame.


When William was given the opportunity to do his DofE during his time at HMP Rochester, he saw it as an opportunity to do something positive with his time in prison.

A young person lifting weights in prison. His face is obscured by the weight and we can see the prison officer in the background.

A prison officer supervising some young offenders while they play football. He has his back to the camera and we can see prison handcuffs on his belt.
dofe_testimonial_quoteI’ve seen how DofE has built young men’s confidence massively, how it’s grown their opportunities from the prison. They’ve been a credit.
Alan Tranter
DofE Leader, HMP Rochester
dofe_testimonial_quoteDofE is a positive way to spend your time in prison and can help lead to other opportunities both within prison and outside.
Young Offender, HMP Rochester
dofe_testimonial_quoteSocialising with the others is what I’ve enjoyed most about DofE, being able to spend more time out of my cell and being more active. DofE has helped build my confidence.
Young Offender, HMP Rochester
The DofE’s work in the secure estate is supported by HMPPS, Aldo Trust, Kirby Laing Trust, Christopher and Diana Laing and Gordon and Hilary Phillips.

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