Benefits of Education in the Prisons

10 Benefits of Education in the Prisons

Discussing the worth of education in places where it is most needed, the 10 benefits of education in the prisons is one of the most important topics that need be addresses given the lack that has over time beset the world in the correctional facility.

A prison can be a building or camp in which people are legally detained as a punishment for a crime which they are believed to have committed. Prisoners are people who are already suffering their crimes. They are probably in that situation for the lack of education or adequate knowledge about the life around them. Hence, the need for education to extend its tentacles into the prison system.

Introducing education no doubt has a number of its advantages which it can infuse into the effective running of the society by implication. Most of these prisoners will certainly be given a second chance to life, thanks to the redemptive influence of education.

Let us check out at least 10 benefits of education in the prisons across the universe:

  • Employment Opportunities

There are increased and improved employment opportunities available for those formerly incarcerated people who engaged in prison education programs, and reentry is far smoother and more successful for those who took classes in prison, especially insofar as gainful employment is one of the defining features of successful reentry.

  • Cost Effectiveness

Prison education is a highly cost-effective investment. A study by the Department of Policy Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, for instance, found that “a $1 million investment in incarceration will prevent about 350 crimes, while that same investment in [prison] education will prevent more than 600 crimes.

Prison education is almost twice as cost effective as incarceration.” Another study found that for every $1 invested in prison education, taxpayers save $4-$5 in re-incarceration costs during the first three years post-release.

  • Community and Intergenerational Benefits

The impact of education goes well beyond the walls of the prisons themselves, extending into the home communities of the incarcerated students. Studies show, for instance, that postsecondary prison education has many positive effects on the children of the incarcerated, offering a chance to break the intergenerational cycle of inequality and incarceration.

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  • In-House Violence Reduction

The directors of prison education programs report noticeable improvements in the general discipline and conduct of the facility. It only takes one semester for enrolled prisoners to start seeing this benefit personally. Some students even police themselves out of fear because one mistake is all that it takes sometimes to be removed from the educational programs at their facility.

  • Socio-Political Benefits

Even for those who are serving lengthy—even natural life—sentences, prison education has profound and often life-changing benefits. There is a substantial reduction in violence and disciplinary infractions among those involved in prison education.

For example: a survey of an Indiana prison, for instance, showed that incarcerated people who were enrolled in college classes committed 75% fewer infractions than incarcerated people who were not enrolled.

Prison education also breaks down racial and ethnic barriers that are often a cause of tension and violence in prisons, significantly improves relations between staff members and the incarcerated, and dramatically enhances the prisoners’ self-esteem.

  • Bends Racial Discrimination

Incarcerated people attending college classes while in prison in Indiana committed 75% fewer infractions than those who were not enrolled in that opportunity. A post-secondary correctional education program also breaks down the racial barriers that are often the cause of discipline problems in these facilities.

It offers an incentive for good behavior, produces well-spoken leaders who have a calming influence, and communicates a message of respect about the human potential of everyone.

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