Pro-Prison Education Essay

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Defense of Educating Inmates One of the most common characteristics amongst inmates is a lack of education; this affects the inmate’s ability to attain a job, possibly resulting in a life of crime and ultimately imprisonment. Education is the most helpful resource offered in the prison system; better behavior during incarceration, less chance of recidivism and better preparation for life after release are only some of the benefits of educating inmates. Because prisoner education programs “help promote a positive transition to society”, (Vacca 2004) participating inmates are more behaved, have fewer disciplinary issues, are far better prepared for the outside world and following release are more likely to succeed, rather than return to prison, “Inmates exposed to education programs have lower recidivism rates than those who do not participate. In particular, most vocational programs in prison reported lower recidivism rates, lower parole revocation rates, better release employment patterns and better institutional disciplinary records for participants than for non-participants” (Vacca 2004). The likelihood of a prisoners return to the prison system depends on his/her ability to prosper outside of prison, research by the Federal Bureau of Prisons shows that education programs increased a former inmates chances for success in the work force; “ex-prisoners who participated in employment and vocational education programs in prison had a better chance of maintaining employment and earning slightly more money than similar ex-prisoners who had not participated” (Vacca 2004). In 1991 researcher David Clark proved that education during incarceration causes an inmate’s recidivism rates to decrease significantly, making them less likely to return to prison after being released. Clark studied twenty-one different prison education programs and determined that only 26.4% of

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