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Correctional Educational Programmes - Essay Example

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(7) Hierarchy of crimes in prisons, which impacts image of prisoners and attitude toward them: prisoners that are segregated and isolated are mostly gang drop outs, those committed sex crimes, including crimes against children, and prisoners-informants, those who provided evidence in court for a better sentence.
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Correctional Educational Programmes
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Traditionally, incarcerated population has among the lowest levels of educational attainment and literacy in any society. There is an argument in correctional literature that correctional education programmes can break the cycle of reincarceration by providing prisoners with an opportunity to gain skills that are practical in the workplace and the community. From the critical perspective, correctional education programmes act as agents of social change. If they are effective, the programmes can greatly assist inmates with overcoming social pathologies often found in many of the communities in which they come from. There are many barriers that prevent adequate expansion of corrections education programmes. Budget cuts, high staffing costs, programme staff cuts, and poor accountability are just a few (Coley and Barton, 85). A major barrier also rests in ideological views of the role of the criminal justice system. This has resulted in a great divide in ideology: those who favor prison rehabilitation and those who favor punitive measures. Skeptics of rehabilitation often claim that research thus far fails to portray a strong link between educational programmes and post release outcomes. On the other hand, proponents of educational programmes claim that there is an inherent value in educating prisoners, and that the benefits of an education will be realized by inmates upon release and obtainment of work (Coley and Barton, 89).
Education in prisons provides many unique advantages to both inmates and prisons. For example, prison education programmes provide an opportunity for the facility to keep inmates occupied and engaged. These programmes also foster improving individual skills by socializing inmates with other inmates and teachers (Mentor, 115). All of these factors can contribute to better levels of order and security within the facility. On the outside, prison education programmes are empirically linked to reduced recidivism rates,
and enhanced opportunities to acquire work upon release. Given thousands of inmates are released from prison annually, the role of prison education programmes in reducing recidivism rates and improving social conditions is a vital component of the reentry process (Mentor, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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