Why Are Prisons Overcrowded

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Abdulhakim Muhammad
Law and Social Change Soc-235
Dr. Hocne Fetni 11-12-11

Why are prisons overcrowded???
1) Introduction to thesis, statement of purpose
Most prisons do not make education a priority, so prisoners who are released without education are more likely to return to prison increasing recidivism and overcrowding. Most prisons do not make education a priority because teaching basic skills in prison is fraught with tensions, most particularly through exposure of concealed perceived inadequacies to teachers, peers and class groups. In the outside community basic skills teaching is often undertaken by volunteers who give personal one to one tuition. Later, once confidence has increased, the student is invited to join a small literacy or numeracy class. Without this sensitive and empathetic approach, teaching basic skills in prison can be, as Forster fears, a site of humiliation and failure that merely replicates previous experience of school. This is not only a problem for prisons but we can see that the teacher and the students are affected as well. 2) Concepts and theories that are relevant to the thesis

This next section will cover the concepts and theories that will be relevant to the thesis. This will also show and prove that education in prison settings is a major factor that will bring about social change. Prison education needs to address deficiencies in basic skills, but it also has multiple layers that can address life skills. For example, national programs to help imprisoned fathers strengthen family ties are being piloted. (Neustatter, 2000). Based on these statements we can see the need for strengthening family ties because if the father is in prison then the mother has to raise the children alone. This not only affects the mother but the children will be affected as well. The children will be raised without a father figure in the household. The mother will have to play the role of the father as well to try and keep balance in raising the children. There should always be a program in place that would help educate the men to be better fathers. This would help strengthen the family ties and remove the hardship of the mother playing the role of mother and father. The rebuilding of the family is another form of social change. Prison education can therefore help students to gain qualifications in order to be more attractive to employers; it can, through self reflection and guidance, assist in personal development and learning can be encouraged for sheer enjoyment. According to . . . One ex-offender, who entered prison with one level 2 qualification, has recently completed a postgraduate program. “According to this ex-offender, the experiences of prison education were like, cathartic. This ex-offender learned that, there were ways of expressing oneself through words. An important point here is not just the value of education, but the sense of frustration he had once his own ignorance had been unveiled. Learning is defined by the changes in attitude and behavior it stimulates. Within an enclosed environment, such as a prison, students would need more support to cope with these modifications of their own perspectives. (Bayliss, 1996). These views also express the need for education in prisons through the example of an ex-offender. It also another factor that brings about social change. Prison Governors controlled the education budget as explained by a prison education contractor who employs education managers and teachers in many prisons that, because of the way in which the core curriculum was introduced to Prison Governors, they assumed that because it was core, that was the only education provision necessary and in order to save money they chopped out the rest (Bayliss, 1996). The prisons are overcrowded and recidivism is at an all time high and all they could think about is saving money. Education in prisons was not the priority but saving money was and it is seen throughout the...
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