U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Effect of Prison Education Programs on Recidivism

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 61 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2010 Pages: 316-334
John H. Esperian
Date Published
December 2010
19 pages
This study examined whether educational programs fulfill their goal to educate and contribute directly to the reduction of crime and recidivism.
With constraints on budgets everywhere across America, many programs in U.S. prisons are being closely monitored to determine if costs can be cut and money saved in daily operations. A dramatic example occurred most recently at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) where, at a June graduation ceremony for inmates who earned a GED, or a high school diploma, from the Clark County School District or an AA from CSN. More than 40 students received either a GED or a high school diploma, and only one student received an AA. This study offers strong support for the argument that it is far more profitable for States to fund education classes for inmates, for two reasons: first, doing so reduces recidivism dramatically, and second because educating felons eliminates the costs associated with long term warehousing. This study includes not only research into attitudes toward convicted felons, but also statistics which support the argument that it pays to educate. Included also are interviews with professional men and women directly involved in the education of the incarcerated. (Public Abstract)