Example Of Correctional Education In Prisons Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Education, Prison, Crime, Workplace, Training, Learning, Challenges, Skills

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/06

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Introduction

Training and education can be offered in a number of arenas. One of the main areas where this can be offered is the prisons. Any prison from all over the world forms quite a particular learning environment (Cantrell, 2012). This environment has a number of distinct challenges that differ from the ones that are faced in the mainstream training and education sector. Chief among these challenges is the fact that education as well as training in prisons is offered in usually overcrowded institutions. These institutions have an average occupancy rate of about 110% (Cantrell, 2013). Additionally, prison populations have continued to become increasingly diverse. In light of this, it is worth noting that over 50% of prisoners in Europe as well as the USA are foreign born. Despite the challenges, evidence has been presented that better investments in training and education in prisons is worthwhile. For example, a study that assessed the costs as well as the benefits of prison education and training in the United Kingdom societies reported that the program benefits outdid the investments done by more than 50% (Nally et al, 2012). Therefore, it is imperative that there be a study of the efficiency and quality of the current provisions of learning in the prisons. In light of this exploration, this paper aims at exploring the current issue that exists in prisons in relation to education and training. The paper will not only expand on the matter but offer more insight since there is little debate and research on the issue around scholarly circles. This white paper will later offer recommendations on the issue of prison education and how it can be improves for the benefit of the community.

Issues in Correctional Education

Without a doubt, education is a major aspect of the essential rehabilitative role that is played by prisons. Education has a vital, even though indirect, position to play in a number of other processes in rehabilitation through which a person in a prison can engage in. Therefore, education within prisons goes beyond keeping the prisoner busy. It has the ability to create a stepping stone in the path towards inclusion for a prisoner facing social exclusion usually before and after leaving prisons. Through provision of a learning environment that is positive, the rehabilitation centers can support the people inside to utilize the time they have well, address the gaps within their skills and learning, in order to improve on their employability as well as to be able to change their perceptions and personal attitudes. This usually includes the fresh development of new attitudes and perceptions that may help an individual to understand the whole process of being in a rehabilitation center, understanding the reasons they have to be and the consequences for their past actions. All of the above will serve to reduce he high chance of re-committing the same crime or another one that may result to similar results. Furthermore, access to good quality education is also a fundamental right to every human and a prisoner should never be denied this chance to have quality education.
However, prisons and similar rehabilitation institutions are oftentimes regarded as negative learning environments. They are even commonly referred to as an environment for negative experience and learning. As such, there are risks that prison sentences may actually aggravate factors connected to re-offending. The challenges and hurdles that are currently facing the prison staff as well as educators are diverse. These hurdles in the process of relaying information and increasing basic skills through education include; the ever-changing and diverse profiles of prison population, the requirement to keep track of the changes happening in the mainstream training and education systems, the adoption and development of new technologies for use in learning and similar issues. This presents specific challenges in connection to security matters within the rehabilitation and correctional environment.

Importance of Providing Correctional Education

Despite the global increase in the number of educated people in the society, prison population continues to grow dramatically. As of 2008, more than 1.5 million people were being held in federal or state prisons. Every year, more than 0.6 million people are released from state jails and prisons. From the above analysis, it is clear that there is a need to address the challenges and issues that are facing the correctional education sector in prisons and other rehabilitative institutions. Moreover, with the ever increasing prison population and the resultant overcrowding of correctional institutions, there are risks that correctional education may drag down the priority list of prison regimes because of the consequent strain on funding and resources. This is happening at a time where more people can benefit from correctional education due to the rise in the number of prisoners. At the same time, a prisoner needs to have competences and skills more than ever in an effort to improve their ability to get employment in an economy where surviving without a stable job is a difficult maneuver. This is in a perspective of an economy that is shrinking and there is increased competition within the labor market.
In accordance with the international recommendations and conventions, prisoners bear the same right to knowledge and education as any other civilian. Therefore, provision of learning opportunities in the correctional facilities will present a number of benefits (potential benefits) to the individual and the society that are by far better than just having them stay locked up without an education. In essence, training and education in the correctional facilities will be immensely beneficial to the society as it will assist in the reduction of the social costs incurred where crime occurs. Therefore, education as well as the gaining of skills through training within the correctional facilities represents a major tool to assist in supporting the rehabilitation process for prisoners and their re-integration back to their communities and society upon completion of their time.
Evidently, a majority of the inmates and people in correctional facilities have very low skills and their educational background is evidently poor (Office of Correction education update, 2014). This issue can be addressed through providing a learning process while in prison. This will consequently improve the prisoners’ ability to deal with the demands as well as challenges of employment and life effectively once they complete their sentence. The main issue in the modern day world is making ends meet. As the living standards increase day in day out, it is increasingly tasking and difficult to survive or live without a job. The key ingredients to acquiring any form of job today is through a good educational background or even having some basic skills in a certain field. Therefore, correctional facilities need to address the issue of a poor educational system to help the people in the rehabilitation process to get employment once they have completed their sentences (Meyer & Randel, 2013). As seen above, this will not only increase their chances of getting employment, but will also have positive benefits to the society as they will have a reduced chance of re-offending. Improved employability is among the main factors in the process of reducing the chance of re-offending. Therefore in summary, the fundamental reasons and importance for provision of training and education in correctional facilities include; access to quality education, training and gaining of basic skills which is a basic right for everyone, helping in the reduction of the costs of crime, promotion of rehabilitation which is a key role played by education, reduction of the prison population through education, and increasing employability.

Strengthening Correctional Adult Education

As already established elsewhere in this white paper, today, jail and prison populations continue to grow significantly. In the US this can be associated to state and federal policies that impose mandatory terms as well as longer sentences for re-offending. As of 2008, more than 1.5 million people were being held in federal or state prisons. Every year, more than 0.6 million people are released from state jails and prisons. Statistics provided by the Bureau of Justice show that more than 95% of all prisoners held in correctional facilities in the state or federal capacity are released at some point in time. This creates the need to have a good education to help these inmates cope with the changing times outside of their prison cells. Since rehabilitation is the main agenda for sending people to prisons, the correctional institutions should work well with the governments (both state and federal) to ensure prisoners get an education as a token for being rehabilitated. Education is a major aspect of the essential rehabilitative role that is played by prisons. It has a vital position to play in a number of other processes in rehabilitation through which a person in a prison can engage in (Palmer, 2012).

Education Participation in Correctional Facilities

Education within correctional facilities goes beyond keeping the prisoner busy and presents the ability to create a stepping stone in the path towards inclusion for a prisoner facing social exclusion usually before and after leaving prisons (Office of Vocational and Adult Education, 2011). Education is undoubtedly a key aspect of the essential rehabilitative role that is played by prisons. A number of states have mandated that certain prisoners attend compulsory education courses. These courses are usually for a short specified periods or are pursued until the inmate attains certain credentials. Typically, the mandated populations are made up of prisoners who score below certain levels of standardized tests of people who are below certain set age. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, inmates without high school certificates or GED are the participants in literacy courses until they attain the needed credentials. As this model provides several inmates with an education, a number of states are beginning to adopt the same in an effort to make the rehabilitation process an all rounded one. Such a move is extremely crucial in attaining the importance of correctional education since education as well as the gaining of skills through training within the correctional facilities represents a major tool to assist in supporting the rehabilitation process for prisoners and their re-integration back to their communities and society upon completion of their time.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Education within correctional facilities is key in the reduction of crime in the society and in the minimization of the potential for a person to re-offend. Therefore, it is imperative that there be a study of the efficiency and quality of the current provisions of learning in the prisons. In light of this exploration, this paper aimed at exploring the current issue that exists in prisons in relation to education and training. The paper has extensively shown how important education is to the correctional populations. However, there are many hurdles and challenges facing the correctional institutions in the efforts to provide inmates with an education. These challenges include; diverse populations with different education backgrounds, overcrowding, struggles in keeping up with the mainstream education sectors, poor funding, lack of resources and so on.
As observed above, prisons from all over the world form quite a particular and unique learning environment. This unique learning environment has a number of distinct challenges that differ from the ones that are faced within the mainstream training and education sector. Chief among these challenges is the fact that education as well as training in prisons is offered in usually overcrowded institutions. It has been established through various research that lack of higher education and training contributes greatly to crime and consequent prison time. Despite the global increase in the number of educated people in the society, prison population continues to grow dramatically. This is because a number of people are still struggling to get quality education and consequently, they lack employment. From the above analysis, it is clear that there is a need to address the challenges and issues that are facing the correctional education sector in prisons and other rehabilitative institutions. Moreover, with the ever increasing prison population and the resultant overcrowding of correctional institutions, there are risks that correctional education may drag down the priority list of prison regimes because of the consequent strain on funding and resources.
In accordance with the international recommendations and conventions, prisoners bear the same right to knowledge and education as any other civilian. Therefore, provision of learning opportunities in the correctional facilities will present a number of benefits (potential benefits) to the individual and the society that are by far better than just having them stay locked up without an education. The fundamental reasons and importance for provision of training and education in correctional facilities include; access to quality education, training and gaining of basic skills which is a basic right for everyone, helping in the reduction of the costs of crime, promotion of rehabilitation which is a key role played by education, reduction of the prison population through education, and increasing employability. This white paper recommends that more attention be paid to the provision of correctional education. Some of the challenges highlighted can be solved without creating further problems. The benefits of having education for the prisoners are evident. The costs are minimal and benefits far outweigh the costs. With a correctional system that has an up to date educational system, it is easy for the global societies to reduce crime rates and rates of incarceration. If these recommendations are followed, then the rates of crime will reduce significantly. Further, the paper recommends research into these issues highlighted.

References

Cantrell, D. (2012). Correctional Education as Democratic Citizenship Education.Journal
Of Correctional Education, 63(2), 27-36.
Cantrell, D. (2013). Correctional Education as Democratic Citizenship Education.Journal
Of Correctional Education, 64(1), 2-12.
Meyer, S. J., & Randel, B. (2013). The Impact of an Associate's Degree Program
for Incarcerated Students: A Randomized Trial of the Correctional Education Association College of the Air Program. Community College Review, 41(3),
Nally, J., Lockwood, S., Knutson, K., & Ho, T. (2012). An Evaluation of the Effect of
Correctional Education Programs on Post-Release Recidivism and Employment: An Empirical Study in Indiana. Journal Of Correctional Education, 63(1), 69-89.
Office of Correction education update, Correctional education Association Journal.
(2014). Journal of Correctional Education, 65(3), 2-4.223-248.
Office of Vocational and Adult Education, (. (2011). Community-Based Correctional
Education. Office Of Vocational And Adult Education, US Department Of Education,
Palmer, S. M. (2012). Postsecondary Correctional Education: Recognizing and
Overcoming Barriers to Success. Adult Learning, 23(4), 163-169.

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