Our colleagues died defending the values of Learning Together, a prison education charity. These must be cherished now more than ever

For those of us involved with the Learning Together community, the deaths of our friends and colleagues Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones have been hard to bear. This has been made even harder by our sense that – amid the cynical politicking, against the wishes of Jack’s family – the values that Learning Together stands for are being overlooked.

Friday’s attack was reported as an incident of indiscriminate terrorism. But it was perpetrated at a Learning Together conference. The victims worked for Learning Together. It was an assault on the whole idea of prisoner rehabilitation – an attack on education, and the hope for self-betterment that it inspires. Kneejerk calls to “lock them up and throw away the key” by rightwing newspapers and politicians end up reinforcing one of the aims of Usman Khan’s violence.

Related: Boris Johnson’s response to the London Bridge attack is everything the victims wouldn’t want | Ash Sarkar

Related: The London Bridge attack must not stop our vital work to tackle terrorism | Pen Mendonça

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