T Nation

Education in Penal System

`I was curious to know if inmates, not juvenile delinquents but adult prisoners, were required to take continuing education courses in prison. If not, can they voluntarily take such courses and are they available in all prisons?

Can’t afford college and looking for a low-cost alternative?

I believe that yes, continuing ed is available, but no, it’s not required. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if an inmate didn’t have to earn it with good behavior.

I was able to observe a prison program that brought kids in to visit their incarcerated parents once a month in an open play area, and that privilege came with a whole host of requirements. The inmates had to be in group therapy (I got to sit in on that, very cool), they had to attend parenting classes, and they had to have spotless behavioral records.

Stuff like that is considered privilege, and has to be earned.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Can’t afford college and looking for a low-cost alternative?[/quote]

Enabling inmates to be more than just criminals might actually help reduce recidivism rates. Imagine having a skill to take out in the world so that one has other options than just returning back to the same old life-style. Its just sad that this opportunity only shows itself in the most nefarious of situations.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
pookie wrote:
Can’t afford college and looking for a low-cost alternative?

Enabling inmates to be more than just criminals might actually help reduce recidivism rates. Imagine having a skill to take out in the world so that one has other options than just returning back to the same old life-style. Its just sad that this opportunity only shows itself in the most nefarious of situations.[/quote]

Please don’t confuse my jokes with actual debate.

Even if they did learn a skill, not many employers would be willing to hire an ex-con over other equally qualified applicants.

Note also that many inmates already have skills. Most cases of fraud and other “white-collar” crimes are committed by educated and skilled individuals. Maybe they could learn ethics?