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 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 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.

Read More

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