This assumes that employment is a major contributing factor to criminal activity and recidivism, on the one hand, and that there is a direct correlation between education and employment, on the other.
Both theory and empirical studies have affirmed the imperatives of embracing correctional education as a strategy for the reduction of recidivism. Through a critical analysis of both theory, primarily focusing on the works of Chlup, Shobe and Spry, this section of the research will examine the following:
how beneficial it is for correctional educators and others (counselors, correctional officers, other prison officials, etc.) to work together to provide a viable learning experience for institutionalized learners,
Criminologists and politicians have debated the effectiveness of correctional rehabilitation programs since the mid-1970s when criminal justice scholars and policy makers throughout the United States embraced the conventional wisdom that 'nothing works' (Lipton, Martinson and Wilks, 1975). Programs based around punishment and surveillance grew. They are being embraced even stronger today despite the fact that Martinson later admitted that he was wrong (1979). An ample amount of research exists that suggests that there are successful programs available to reduce future criminality of not only offenders but also of potential offenders. These studies, amongst which we may cite the works of Chlup, Shobe and Spry, argue that prison education programs are representative of the "normalizing" prison programs whose intent is to increase prison safety and to decrease recidivism. The efficacy of these programs, as Chlup (2004; 2006) contends, has been affirmed and re-affirmed through the long history of education in female penitentiaries, versus the male ones, and the significantly lower rates of female versus male recidivism. Education contributes to the reduction of recidivism and, indeed, is correctional in the real sense of the word because, as may be inferred from all of Shobe (2003), Spry (2003) and Chlup's (2004; 2006) studies, it does not simply provide incarcerated adults with the tools requisite for a crime-less life following release but it teaches them what it means to be a member of society and that respect for society is an expression of self-respect and a determinant of the respect which one will evoke from others. Education within the prison context, in other words, is not just about providing the incarcerated with the skills necessary for later employment but is about social rehabilitation and healthy social development.
Penitentiaries do not facilitate social rehabilitation. Sykes (1956) highlighted this last more than five decades ago through his identification and