Criminal justice suggests punishment for committing crimes, and this includes prison sentencing in addition to fines. Serving jail terms isolate people from the outside world and minimizes their access to resources, making it difficult for them to adapt back to an everyday, law-abiding life. Many released inmates find it difficult to build social relations and secure employment for themselves. Therefore, the need to be trained and learn how to navigate when released, necessitate the need for prison education. The paper aims to answer the questions; how cost of crime has been lowered by prison education, whether the sensitization promoted rehabilitation, and the challenges of teaching in jail.
Decreasing the Cost of Crime
The cost of prisoners engaging in other criminal activities even after serving their term forms a significant part of society’s crime consequence. A felony can be described as an intense type of social elimination with severe damages that affect the victim and community in general, the economy, the offender, and his family. In the United Kingdom, recently released prisoners cost the economy approximately fifteen billion pounds (Duwe, 2017). Matrix Knowledge Group conducted a study that assessed the benefits and costs of education and realized that the taxpayer saved two pounds for every pound spent on prison education (Duwe, 2017) Hence, prison education proved to reduce the cost of crime and relieve the taxpayer significantly.
Prison Education Promotes Rehabilitation
Prison is supposed to be an environment that makes better people. The support for prisoners to get education, training, and competency forms an essential step to their journey towards being reintegrated into the community. Learning has been a source of hope and aspiration for the future and helps keep the detainees busy and extensively utilizes their time to make them profitable. A separation from society is a critical factor in criminality which can be countered by the inclusive and demographic aspect of education. Training prisoners helps them gain skills and makes them important to society (Behan, 2014). Prisoner learners gain a sense of belonging to the community, which encourages them to be eager to get back and be productive members of society.
Challenges Encountered in Prison Teaching
Prison teachers lose the ability to total communicate with their students at any time they need to. The class rules are dictated to the teacher, and they don’t have control over lessons. Interruptions are also widespread in prisons with noise and demanding correctional officers. Students might be pulled out of learning sessions, and the teacher is not accustomed to knowing why. Prison transfer is another major challenge faced by individuals undertaking prison education (Koungmi, 2020). The prison transfers disorient the prisoners due to the change of environment and teachers.
Recently released prisoners encounter difficulties in securing employment even after they qualify in their studies. Duwe (2017) argues that employers usually look for employees who have had significant work experiences and steady careers, closing the ex-prisoners’ opportunities. Minimum state information on inmate’s education concerning enrollments, certificates attained, completions, and exam scores. Available data implies a high disparity rate among states in several correctional education issues.
Requirements and Incentives
Different states have taken some actions to increase prisoner involvement in education. Apart from rendering it available, there has been a tendency towards compulsory participation over some years, which stems from the adoption of mandatory participation by the prisons’ federal bureau in 1981. When the research was conducted, forty-four percent of the states had implemented compulsory such needs. Some of the states that made the programs mandatory also provided enticement for involvement. However, Bedford, (2018) reveals that the mandated education continues to be a debated subject, with some people believing that it is not appropriate to get prisoners to learn. In some cases, the judge imposes prison education on some offenders during sentencing. With the judge’s order, the offenders undertake prison education even in the states that don’t mandate prison education.
Gaps Existing in Prison Education Analysis
Studies have been done to determine whether prison education helps to avoid recidivism and similarities in the economic impacts of education. In some cases, researchers analyzed misconducts in institutions as well as parole adjustments. According to Austin (2017), much is not said on whether prison education generates more significant interest in practicing continuing education once the prisoner gets out. It is not proven whether participation in prison education positively influenced prosocial institutions’ commitment, increased moral perceptions, or promoted prosocial attitudes. The prosocial attitudes and obligations are essential dimensions of inmates’ reentry into society and have significant training effects; hence, measuring and evaluating these dispositions need to be devised.
Contribution to the Literature by Current Analysis
With the growing need and role of information technology in society, Koungmi (2020) argues that such research will enable policymakers to determine how to competently incorporate such technology in correctional education and evaluate its impact on instructions and outcomes. The analysis may also lead to finding ways to incorporate the technological systems in creating opportunities for technical assistance to the teachers to instigate more actual exams and computer-centered testing. Research analysis could also give insight into developing large-scale randomized trials that would encourage partnerships between teachers and their students. A registry could be created and used to collect and store data relating to prison education through a research study.
In conclusion, prison education has created remarkable impacts on prisoners and society in general. Training in the prisons has helped the inmates raise their self-esteem and assure them of a position in society. However, the research also establishes that much research needs to be done to fill the existing gaps in research and encourage the responsible authorities to introduce the learning sessions in prisons that lack the system.
Austin, J. (2017). Limits of prison education. Criminology & Public Policy, 16(2), 563-569.
Bedford, C. (2018). Transformative prison education: The prison radio training project. Making Waves Behind Bars, 101-120. Web.
Behan, C. (2014). Learning to escape: Prison education, rehabilitation and the potential for transformation. Journal of Prison Education and Reentry, 1(1), 20. Web.
Duwe, G. (2017). Effectiveness of prison-based education programming and the implications for correctional policy and practice. Criminology & Public Policy, 16(2), 511-514.
Koungmi, H. (2020). Limits of the prison education and revision direction of prison laws. Correction Review, 88, 3-30.