Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Education vs. Incarceration
"The transformative power and value of education cannot be ignored; neither can the relationship between race and incarceration...."
Problem need of significant magnitude DOES exist:
-Nearly one and a half million individuals are housed in adult correctional facilities in the United States. The United States Department of Justice reports that “the typical offender is undereducated, unemployed and living in poverty before incarceration”
-Inside prisons, 19% of adult inmates are illiterate, and up to 60% are functionally illiterate
-Social, psychological, and demographic factors correlate powerfully with recidivism. Most persons are released from prison into the community unskilled, undereducated, and highly unlikely to become involved in crime again.
-Rates of recidivism in the United States are extraordinarily high, ranging from 41%-71%
Education CAN be used as Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation:
-simply attending school behind bars reduces the likelihood of reincarceration by 29%
-Every dollar spent on education returned more than two dollars to the citizens in reduced prison costs
-Research suggests that a 20% lowered recidivism for those who received a GED certificate and completed vocational training
-rates for college degree holders as low as 12%
It is fair and clear enough to suggest that there is correlation between completion of collegiate studies and reduction in recidivism.
Higher education and its values:
-Decreases reliance on public assistance
-Increases the employment rates
-Improves physical and mental health
-Elevates quality of life for children