European Strategies Consulting

Improving digital and coding skills for inmates 

The FREE to CODE project has the ambitious goal of using digital skills and computer programming as a means of human development that can help adult European prisoners to re-enter society with a resale expertise. This path will be validated by using the European Guidelines for non-formal and informal learning in order to allow the overall recognition of the quality and added value of such a training.

The European context in the management of education and social and educational rehabilitation of prisoners is quite rich. There are different experiences and educational programs tailored to allow a correct reintegration into society for incarcerated people, after having served the sentence imposed. Especially there are e-learning platforms established for such beneficiaries, as explained by the Report on e-learning in European prisons – Concepts, organisation, pedagogical approaches in prison education (  )

But, since our society is facing a new digital era where new languages are raising up and whoever knows them can get more opportunities in finding jobs and help humanity to develop toward and beyond a high-tech development, coding seems to be a great chance to learn and to be competitive, especially for those that could be starting from a weak and disadvantaged point (like prisoners in such a case). The project intends to be focused on detained people that have a relatively short time to spend in prison and during the rest of the detection time could improve their knowledge with motivation and natural attitude to improve their digital and programming skills. These men will be committed to learning how they could create a better life after they served their time.


  • To develop an innovative training programme on coding for learners detained (men, at least graduated and with a short-time sentence, to prepare them to be reintegrated into the society), with the aim to favour the development of their digital skills and in turn their transversal skills, particularly problem solving.
  • Transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications; application of the European recommendations to validate the non-formal and informal learning with the improvement of their digital and programming skills in an informal and formal learning environment
  • Applying the methodology of the European recommendations to validate the non-formal and informal learning to adult education.
  • To maximize the benefits of the training process for the prisoners;
  • To exchange good practices among partners, and to provide more efficient, credible and valid services to prisoners and ex-prisoners;
  • To contribute to social change.

Expected outcomes

  • An interactive,multifunctional platform for adult coding education, with a special regard tovulnerable and disadvantaged people, like prisoners are. It will host: trainingcontents; interactive exercises for understanding theory; programming games(collection of games which simulate programming).
  •  Digital learning and key competences and toincrease literacy and numeracy of adult people with a disadvantaged backgroundand especially prisoners about to leave the custody, in Europe, in line withthe Agenda for Adult Learning, set up by the European Commission.
  • Improvement ofpersonal skills and motivation: coding enhances creativity, teaches people tocooperate, to work together across physical and geographical boundaries and tocommunicate in a universal language. Technology is part of our life, and codingbrings it closer to people.
  • Activeparticipation and better understanding of the digital world we live in.
  • Improvedprofessional opportunities.
  • The promotionof non-formal and informal learning among adult learners, people usuallyexcluded from mainstream and traditional education pathways.


European Strategies Consulting, Romania


  • Dlearn_European Digital Learning Network,Italy                                             
  • Asturia vzw, Belgium                                                               
  • Penitenciarul Bucuresti- Jilava, Romania                                                 
  • Avaca Technologies Consulting, Informatics AE, Greece                          
  • Aproximar- Cooperativa de Solidariedade Social, CRL, Portugal   
  • BeCode, Belgium

Timeframe 01/09/2018 – 31/08/2020 (24 months)

Funding Erasmus+
KA2: Strategic Partnerships for adult education


Free to Code Website

Free to Code Newsletter


Best practices Report on Coding for Detained Learners ENG RO IT PT NED FR GRE

Training Manual ENG RO IT PT NED GRE

Pilot Programme Report

For more information, please visit Free to Code Platform. The platform is also available for offline use. For that, those interested should contact the project manager: Ioan Durnescu, or