by Guest Blogger, Rachel Milano
Education is a means to improve and transform one’s life. It empowers each one of us. The same is especially true for prison education programs. Just because an individual is incarcerated does not mean that he does not have the right to get some form of education. Prison education programs give prisoners the opportunity to start anew and improve their chances of a successful reentry into society.
There are many prison programs for inmates that are being offered by both the federal prisons and private sectors. Most of these programs are conducted as correspondence courses done mostly online. Some of these prison programs include college courses, post-graduate programs, General Education Development (GED) certification, secondary education, literacy classes, vocational training, wellness education, prison rehabilitation programs and even parenting classes. These courses are easily available and family and friends can order these programs online for the incarcerated individual.
All of these programs are prison programs to reduce recidivism. Studies have shown that inmates who enroll in any of these courses have a better chance of survival when they are released into the real world.
The strongest benefit of prison programs is the personal growth and development the inmates gain when they receive an education while behind bars. Those who undergo some form of training and education are able to get past all the hardships and obstacles in life because they see some form of hope for themselves. Prison education programs allow inmates to realize the reasons behind the crimes they have committed and hopefully correct such criminal behavior. Education gives them the opportunity to escape the vicious cycle of crime and punishment.
While they may not completely eradicate repeat offenders, prison programs reduce the rate of recidivism significantly. This means that though the programs may not be perfect, they are helping inmates get the second chance they deserve.
By providing sufficient skills and even the chance of attaining a college degree, prison education programs enable released prisoners to get out of prison and stay out, making them once more productive members of society.