Analysis

From the literature review, the hypothesis that educating prisoners will contribute to reduction in recidivism has widely been proved. Most of the cases utilized in this study appear to be inclined towards this finding. The cases were selected to represent a variety of geographic regions (different federal prisons). The tools that were used in these case studies included the documentation reviews and the interactions or interviews with the stakeholders of interest. The comments and observations from the various persons who have worked in prison programs were also very helpful in this study.  All these have been obtained from the United States Sentencing Commission in the form of reports that are submitted by the different federal prisons. What appears the trend from all those who were interviewed in the need to create more vibrant programs in an attempt to reduce recidivism. According to George Grantan, one of the correction officers stationed as the United States Sentencing Commission, the high school classes in prisons are very free to the inmates, especially if the felon is under the age of 15 years. The general level of recidivism for the released felons is about 70 percent, and this is reduced to 7 percent to those who are able to achieve college education (Shannon, Jackson, Newell & Neal, 2018). The officer affirms that this is the reality that has been confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt. Having participated in three recent studies, the officer is of the opinion that better prospects are likely to be realized if the programs are enhanced more(Newton et al, 2018). Another experienced correction officer who wished that his name remains anonymous had the following opinions regarding the education of prisoners when it comes to reducing recidivism; recidivism is still significantly high, and education remains a good idea in the sense that if the victims fails to get good jobs after being released, they will continue to hang out with the old friends and fall into the same bad habits.

When asked why individuals have to take classes, secondary or college, one professor, who claims to have got a lot of fulfillment from teaching thee people affirms that the two primary reasons why the inmates have to take classes in an attempt to alleviate boredom and also truly acquire some good time  which can be earned. He also categorically states that the education efforts is somehow unpredictable, given that most of the prison students tends to have very little  study reading and writing skills, the inmates are entitled to the opportunity to take classes, irrespective of the kind of offenses that they might have committed. Education tends to be a humanizing process, one which is likely to have an ameliorative effect as far as recidivism rates are concerned. Education will assist these people to sharpen their critical thinking and rationality, hence becoming better citizens at all times. AS such, recidivism levels will be scaled down as a result of the same. Another employee of public safety and human services (Criminal Justice) states that with about 1500 part time and fulltime students enrolled under the CJ program, many of the students are more likely to lean towards retributive criminal justice behavior (Katsiyannis, Whitford, Zhang & Gage, 2018). However, when people happen to understand the behaviors that lead to criminal behavior, they are more likely to appreciate the merits that are associated with training and education in the prison setting. The only way to reduce recidivism is developing and providing more programs. This should not only be done within the prison walls, but also a continuous process of post release supervision for those who are under probation or parole. From his experience, the employee Affirms that  the most difficult aspect of getting the former felons  on a non-law breaking track is through the education of the general public  and attempts to foster  involvement in positive community activities, a challenge which quite enormous for the stakeholders, especially those who are trying to work with the former sex offenders. As for the inmates, he education initiatives should always start with rehabilitation, guiding and counseling, and attempts to instill the desirable skills that are required by the inmates in order to lead very different lives.

An in-depth scrutiny of documents from the United States Sentencing Commission point out that over 600,000 people are released from the prisons every year. This figure is further compounded by the fact that the U.S comprises of about 5% of the global population and approximately 25% of the prison population across the world. So far, there is no any litmus test that can be used to determine if the released individuals have any potential to recidivate or change (Newton et al, 2018). This points out to the fact that education will be a cornerstone to a more structured learning and work.

Another documented case from San Quentin alludes to the fact that involvement of the prisoners to the meaningful activities such as rehabilitations, sport and work programs is very valuable for the lives of the former prisoners. San Quentin provides the system’s only college education program. As a result, most inmates have testified that it has fewer gang and racial problems as compared to any other prisons. The prison has been hailed for offering life-changing situations for any inmate who happens to recognize the need for change. A report from a key stakeholder from the San Quentin Prison clearly documents that education for the former as well as the current prisoners is one of the cost-effective solutions that are tailored towards reducing reoffending and also the improvement of public safety.

The archives manager at United States Sentencing Commission also notes the same trend, and states that participation in college level work is reflected in recidivism rates. He points out that post-secondary education programs have reduced recidivism, and that there is widespread belief in college level work from the time education became available to the inmates in 46 states. The program included some campus release study for the inmates, and was approximately 5 to 10 percent of the number of prisoners that were enrolled in the college study programs (Scott, 2016). He notes that the programs are well received by the inmates, and there is normally evidence of some effects. In the situations where there are no significant reduction levels in the rates of recidivism, it is just because the limited number of the participants in these programs, and probably the scant offering of college courses that we have. If more inmates are incorporated in these programs, chances are high that we will be able to record significantly better results.

The vocational and post-secondary programs appear to bear even more positive results. A documented study done by Windham School District in Texas, consisting of about 6700 inmates showed that both the treatment groups had recidivism rate of 12 to 13 percent (Scott, 2016). For most federal prisons, there is some support for the premise that correctional education scales down the risks of an individual of recidivating after the release. Taking Texas for instance, inmates who had participated in the correctional educational programs had about 43 percent lower odds of recidivating as compared to those inmates who don’t.  This implies that there is a reduction in the risk of recidivating by 13 percent points especially for those who participate in the correctional education programs as compared to those who don’t (Scott, 2016).  Education has also shown to improve the chances of the inmates of getting meaningful employment after being released. The ability of the inmates to get meaningful employment has a positive impact on the rates of recidivism. The odds that are associated with obtaining employment after the release by the inmates who participated inmates who participated in either vocational or academic correctional education is at about 13 percent higher as compared to the odds of those who happened not to participate. Those who have taken part in vocational training are 28 percent more likely to be employed after being released from prison as compared to those who have not been able or did not receive that kind of training. Despite the fat that education for the inmates has been declining up to the year 2008 in federal facilities, some departments have been able to buck the trend (Scott, 2016). This is because the departments have taken an initiative to conduct research, and they are utilizing data in giving educational programs which include vocational and academic programs that are very relevant to the contemporary job marketplace.

Indiana is one of the states with the richest educational programs, the short-term vocational programs and has even gone to an extent of employing the inmates into market meaningful prison industries with some jobs for the prisoners. The effectiveness of the program can be attributed to the multiple state agencies which have been participating in the funding of these programs. The decision by the state to allow the incarcerated adults to be able to receive access to short-term career programs has been well supported, and it is pointed out as the most vibrant so far. There is support and funding for the incarcerated adults to access the short-term occupational training and attain some industry recognized certification in the various industry sectors (Newton et al, 2018). These included food services or hospitality, technological industries among other things.

There is also well documented evidence showing the results of the project that was initiated by the former president of the United States.  This was a 3 to 5 year test project to confirm whether the college classes assisted to cut down on prison recidivism by financial assistance through PELL Grants program. It was clear that the rates of recidivism are inversely proportional to level of education portrayed by the prisoner. Some of the proven facts that were highlighted include the following; those ex-offenders who happen to complete the high school courses tends to have recidivism rates of about 55 percent, vocational training has the potential to cut recidivism to about 30 percent, and that a bachelor’s degree will reduce recidivism to about 5.6 percent (Mears & Cochran, 2018). The implications of the findings was that the money that the money that is tailored towards building and maintaining of operating costs, prisons, safety measures and staff salaries  and other programs can assist the nation. Education of the prison population will assist to create  better citizens, and this will not only reduce recidivism, but also free up more money which can in turn  assist people who are in need.

Generally, the effect of correctional education programs has had some positive results. There is strong evidence that correctional education plays a major role in reducing recidivism. As such, vocational training and educational programs will definitely help to keep the prisoners from returning to the prisons and hence improving their future prospects. The analysis pinpoints towards a trend whereby the inmates who happened to be enrolled in most of the educational programs while incarcerated happened to have lower recidivism rates as compared to those who did not attend the programme. As such, the inmates need educational programs that will not only teach them to write and read, but also to provide them with some necessary skills which can promote a positive transition to the society when they get released.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Shannon, L. M., Jackson Jones, A., Newell, J., & Neal, C. (2018). Examining the Impact of Prior             Criminal Justice History on 2-Year Recidivism Rates: A Comparison of Drug Court             Participants and Program Referrals. International Journal Of Offender Therapy &        Comparative Criminology, 62(2),       291-312. doi:10.1177/0306624X16645323

Katsiyannis, A., Whitford, D. K., Zhang, D., & Gage, N. A. (2018). Adult Recidivism in United             States: A Meta-Analysis 1994–2015. Journal Of Child & Family Studies, 27(3), 686-696.      doi:10.1007/s10826-017-0945-8

Mears, D. P., & Cochran, J. C. (2018). Progressively Tougher Sanctioning and Recidivism.           Journal Of  Research In Crime & Delinquency, 55(2), 194-241.                                                  doi:10.1177/0022427817739338

Newton, D., Day, A., Giles, M., Wodak, J., Graffam, J., & Baldry, E. (2018). The Impact of      Vocational Education and Training Programs on Recidivism: A Systematic Review of             Current Experimental Evidence. International Journal Of Offender Therapy &            Comparative   Criminology, 62(1), 187-207. doi:10.1177/0306624X16645083

Scott, K. J. (2016). CORRECTIONS AND EDUCATION: THE RELATIONSHIP             BETWEENEDUCATION AND RECIDIVISM. Journal Of Intercultural Disciplines,      15147-169.

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