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College Education and Recidivism: Educating Criminals Is Meritorious

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 48 Issue: 3 Dated: (September 1997) Pages: 106-111
D J Stevens; C S Ward
Date Published
6 pages
To examine the effects of education on incarcerated offenders, 60 student-inmates who had earned their associate and/or baccalaureate degrees while incarcerated were tracked after their release from the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
Their recidivism rates were compared with nonstudent inmates. Data were also collected from education and recidivism studies in 30 States. Results show that inmates who earned associate and baccalaureate degrees while incarcerated tended to become law-abiding individuals significantly more often after their release from prison than inmates who had not advanced their education while incarcerated. One conclusion drawn from these findings is that it is less expensive to educate inmates than to reincarcerate them. The researchers recommend that lowering of recidivism becomes one of the missions of the correctional community and that college degree programs become an intrinsic part of that mission. Research should be done on the relationship between advanced education of corrections custody officers and the recidivism rates of inmates. 57 references