Education In the US Prison System

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A prison is literally defined as a "place in which individuals are physically confined and usually deprived of a range of personal freedomsthey areconventionally institutions which form part of the criminal justice system of a country, such that imprisonment or incarceration is the penalty imposed by the state for the commission of a crime." ("Wikipedia", 2005).


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Since 1980, America's prison population has "more than tripled" (Patel and McMurray, n.d.). Out of this abundant figure, 19% of adult inmates are illiterate; while the United States' national adult illiteracy stands at a comparatively mere 4%. Stemming from this figure are the rates of recidivism in the United States, which are also at a particular high - 41% to 71% of prisoners who are released into the community end up back in prison only a short time after their acquittal. This can quickly be assessed as the obvious impact of expecting unskilled, undereducated, and often improperly socialized persons to be released into the community and make it on their own. In a world where high education is required for practically anything and everything, the thought of having high expectations for a person being thrown back into the world from a life of solitaire and no education in prison seems highly impractical.
Although at one time rehabilitation was a critical goal of the prison system, funding for most educational and rehabilitative programs "has been severed, prioritizing punishment and profit over people." ("PARC", n.d.). ...
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