By Alice Hu / Harvard Political Review Education reduces crime. This connection seems like common sense, and indeed it has been researched, analyzed, and affirmed countless times. According to a 2007 study by researchers at Columbia University, Princeton University, and City University of New York, higher education reduces the crime rates of both juveniles and…Read More
This past Saturday, 53 inmates at Eastern Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York, were awarded college diplomas as part of the Bard Prison Initiative, a program that enables convicted felons to take courses and earn degrees while incarcerated. Among the graduates were newly minted experts in advanced math, literature, and social studies…Read More
By Eric Thomas Weber In the dozen years that I have been teaching, two moments stand out as the most gripping experiences I have had in my classes. With a group of freshmen sitting by the Honors College fountain at the University of Mississippi, we once talked about philosopher John Lachs’s book, In Love with…Read More
By Keri Blakinger Image courtesy ithaca.com / Photo by Dave Burbank On Wednesday, Dec. 10, a group of 13 students looking much like any other group of graduates walked across the stage to accept their diplomas as the Class of 2014. Unlike most college graduates, though, this group was entirely comprised of prisoners, inmates at…Read More
By Lauren Mazzo and Emily Hull / Just Ithaca For many modern-day high school students, graduating with a college-level degree is simply the next logical step in life; but for the 15 students of Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) who will graduate on Dec. 10, it means a better chance at a jail-free future. CPEP is…Read More
By Leo Jegho Yasonna Laoly / Image courtesy jpnn.com Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H Laoly has given instructions to discontinue post-graduate program at Sukamiskin prison, located in West Java. The minister stated that the inmates who are enrolled in the law education program at the well-known Sukamiskin Correctional Centre are university graduates with…Read More
By Estefania Florez / The Daily Illini The Education Justice Project is hosting a symposium on higher education programs in prison until Sunday. “Our mission is to build a model college in prison program that demonstrates the positive impacts of higher education upon incarcerated students, the family, the neighbors to which they return, the host institution…Read More
By Jay Derragon
The majority of people in prison are not hardened criminals; they are good people who have made bad decisions. Yet the current educational system in prisons leave little room for good people to learn how to avoid bad decisions. As W. Edwards Deming said: “A bad system will defeat a good person, every time.”The current system of prison education is not doing enough to empower behavioral change and rehabilitation of minds. The current “system of education” within prisons is antiquated, ineffective, costly and ripe for change. A transformation in methods, means, and thinking is desperately needed.
How Well Is The Current System Working?
Since 1985, the number of people incarcerated has jumped from about 744,000 to over 3.3 million in 2011. That represents an overall increase of more than 400%. While all sectors have grown over that time period, the highest growth was in the federal prison population, which increased by 473%. Increases in the other sectors ranged from 175% in state prisons to 178% in local jails. “The current correctional rehabilitation system is obviously is not working”.
The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) reported in 2011, that nearly 7 in 10 people who are formerly incarcerated will commit a new crime, and half will end up back in prison within three years. Given that about 95 out of every 100 incarcerated people eventually rejoin society, it is crucial that we develop programs and tools to effectively reduce recidivism.
In this video, Richard French examines the idea of providing education for prisoners. Although the idea sounds like the “ultimate undeserved freebie,” close inspection of programs such as Hudson Link prove that prison education turns around lives, reduces recidivism, saves money and redounds to the advantage of communities.Read More