Connecticut has spent nearly $1 billion on its prisons in the past 20 years, in large part because the same people keep getting sent back.
A legislative study two years ago found that 70 percent of released inmates were arrested for at least one new crime within three years. State Rep. Robert Farr of West Hartford, who has studied the problem, estimates that the state's criminal justice system mostly exists for one percent of the state's population - 30,000 to 35,000 people who keep rotating through the courts and prisons.
He and others conclude that the way to reduce this social and financial burden is to attack recidivism - the tendency to relapse into a previous undesirable type of behavior, especially crime (www.encarta.com). One way to do that is with education. A 2001 study by the nonprofit Correctional Education Association of 3,200 inmates in three states found significantly lower rates of recidivism among those who had taken part in prison education programs.
In Maryland, one of the three states, recidivism dropped 20 percent. This saved $24 million, twice the state's investment in prison education. (http://www.hartfordinfo.org/issues/documents/ prisonerre-entry/htfd_courant_030605.asp)
Providing them the right education that they need will not only help the government minimize its expenses, but it will at the same time help these people become better persons who trust in themselves to become somebody else but "criminals." But education in jail should not alone focus on allowing these people learn about any other college or university lessons. They should as well be educated about the things that they need more than just any college education - that is inspiring them to become a different person when...
It is discussed in the essay that teaching is beyond theories and rules and teachers has become the role models of their students that they look up to. A bond is created between the teacher and the students, and there is no better way of strengthening this bond but through literature. Using literature as a tool for teaching in jail is considerably one of the best strategy such that it does not only encourage the students to improve on their reading and comprehension skills but it also keeps them in touch with their inner self that might even prevent them from recidivism. Literature provides them a venue for self-discovery and self-discipline where they would keep them from getting back to jail once they have the chance to be out of it. It also provides an open discussion among the students such that they will learn how to best interpret the literary pieces based on the other students. The researcher states that people in jail have their own concerns going on in their minds. And asking them to undergo a formal education that involves memorization, serious discussions and quizzes and exams will only make things worse for them. They may not only be able to digest every word that you tell them, but they will only become more confused and irate with the situation that may lead to personal rejection. They deserve a moment to be drawn away from the worries that they have even before they went into the jail. The researcher concluds that only through literature, they can disclose themselves to their own identity.