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Educated Prisoners are Less Likely to Return to Prison

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 55 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2004 Pages: 297-305
James S. Vacca
Date Published
December 2004
9 pages
This article reviews the benefits of appropriate inmate education.
Inmates who attend educational programs while they are incarcerated have been shown to have lower recidivism rates than inmates who receive no educational programming. The type of educational programming is crucial to its success; those focusing on social skills, artistic development, and emotional management have been shown to be successful in promoting a positive prison environment and lowering levels of inmate violence. Effective Education Programs, as they are called, also emphasize academic, vocational, and social education in order to improve the employment opportunities for inmates upon their release. The success of educational programming for inmates, however, hinges on the quality of teaching staff, resources for staff and supplies, and overall correctional facility environment. A plethora of recent research indicates that most inmates are males with little or no education or employable skills. As such, effective educational programming must be designed to cater to different learning styles, cultural backgrounds, and learning needs. Additionally, educational programming should go beyond a focus on academic and vocational training to also teach the skills necessary for a successful transition back to the community upon release. Such a focus would not only engender greater inmate interest and participation, but would also help in the inmate rehabilitation process. Figure, references