Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kenneth Mentor & Molly Wilkinson
Literacy skills are important to people in prison for a number of reasons. Many prison jobs require prisoners to read instructions or order forms, and inmates are often required to write requests for belongings, items, or medical treatment. Reading and writing provide productive options for passing time while in prison. Letters to family and friends are a vital link to the outside world. Literacy skills are also important for those who will leave prison and attempt to reintegrate into the community. Jobs, continued education, and many social opportunities depend on the ability to read and write—regardless of whether an individual is in prison. Research consistently demonstrates that quality education is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention since educational skills help deter people from committing criminal acts. One study, for example, indicated that those who benefited from correctional education recidivated 29% less often that those who did not ...