Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cathryn A. Chappell
Prison education is any type of education that has inmates of prisons or jails for students. This includes high school or its equivalency, vocational and academic courses of study, undergraduate, graduate, continuing, certificate, and degree programs. Prison education means different things to different people. The reformer may see it as a means of improving prison conditions. The prison staff may see it as a way to keep prisoners occupied. Educators may see it as remedy for past injustices and researchers may see it as a way to reduce recidivism. Prisoners themselves may see it as a way to pass the time. Taxpayers may see it as a privilege for undeserving students. Despite the differing attitudes, opinions, and purposes that surround this issue, criminal recidivism (the tendency to relapse into criminal behavior) rates indicate that prison alone is not a deterrent to crime. Society in general, and inmates in particular, need ...