November 2, 2012
Future correctional problems that will need to be addressed by prison administrators are the lack of inmate education. Studies show that imprisoned individual is disproportionately and increasingly undereducated. Inmates who are released from confinement have a very difficult time obtaining employment due to the lack of education. If the confinement center would push harder for the inmates to learn basic reading, writing, math, and oral communication skills, their chances of gaining employment would increase.
Studies have shown that people who have not been educated have higher rates of rearrests, reconviction, and reincarceration than the people who have gone through the educational intervention. A range of studies, including a substantial body of work at the Urban Institute, establishes a strong case for remedial intervention programs, including basic literacy and adult education (Current Issues in Correctional Education, 2004).
However, the need for educating these individuals is evident, the economic and policy environments have worsened dramatically in the past several years causing a reduction in programs and staffing. This is obviously not what the prison system needs to help educate and improve inmate’s lives.
So, the bottom line is, it is going to be a challenge for leaders in correctional and adult education to determine through research, policy, and program development how to do more with less, and how to do it effectively and as a top priority for a very large and especially needy segment of the American population.
Current Issues in Correctional Education, (2004) retrieved from http://www.caalusa.org/correct_ed_paper.pdf