Education in prison essay sample

Today we live in a knowledge-based era. Knowledge is the power, which can help us to overcome obstacles and be successful in life. To acquire knowledge, education is the mode. Education is capable of not only of changing a person’s life, but also of transforming a country’s system. Education is a major factor, which is crucial to helping prisoners change their lives and learn how to survive in society without resorting to crime. Education for convicts is fundamental to achieve the first objective of the criminal penalty, i. e. the rehabilitation and correction of convicts, as it eradicates ignorance, a major factor for criminal behavior. Therefore, it must be a priority for penal institutions to eradicate prisoners’ illiteracy and to help them resume their education. By mastering a trade or a profession, learning a skill, and acquiring good work habits, a prisoner can greatly improve his chances of successfully integrating into society upon release.

According to UNICEF, “ Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women.” More than 60 percent of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate. Two thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare. These are all true statements. Illiteracy and crime are closely related. The Department of Justice states, “ The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” Over 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.

By educating prisoners, it is proven that they will be less likely to participate in the activities that got them there. According to a Marymount Bedford Hills Program student, “ Prison education is a means of rehabilitating and re-directing. If you release someone with the same skills with which she came in, she’s going to get involved in the same activities as she did before.” By educating citizens, it reduces the number of predicted criminals. Educating citizens in their child years will give them positive expectations.

Education provides a means by which prisoners can turn their lives around.
It helps them to avoid crime after their release by increasing their self-esteem, giving them responsibility, helping them to become role models, and, most importantly, helping them to see that they have options other than crime.