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Prison education, also known as Correctional Education, involves vocational training or academic education supplied to prisoners as part of their rehabilitation and preparation for life outside prison.

Prison education is sometimes carried out within the prison system, and sometimes provided by outside bodies, such as educational establishments. Similarly, funding can come from governments or private charities.

Controversy[edit | edit source]

Skeptics claim that, in many cases, prison education produces nothing more than "better educated criminals"[1]. However, many studies have shown significant decreases in recidivism. A study by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons found: "The more educational programs successfully completed for each six months confined, the lower the recidivism rate"[2].

Organizations that work for prison education are CEA and EPEA.

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

The Council of Europe and 42 member states accepted the Recommendation R(89)12 that have set the standard for European prison education.

  • All prisoners shall have access to education, which is envisaged as consisting of classroom subjects, vocational education, creative and cultural activities, physical education and sports, social education and library facilities;
  • Education for prisoners should be like the education provided for similar age groups in the outside world, and the range of learning opportunities for prisoners should be as wide as possible;
  • Education in prison shall aim to develop the whole person bearing in mind his or her social, economic and cultural context;
  • All those involved in the administration of the prison system and the management of prisons should facilitate and support education as much as possible;
  • Education should have no less a status than work within the prison regime and prisoners should not lose out financially or otherwise by taking part in education;
  • Every effort should be made to encourage the prisoner to participate actively in all aspects of education;
  • Development programmes should be provided to ensure that prison educators adopt appropriate adult education methods;
  • Special attention should be given to those prisoners with particular difficulties and especially those with reading or writing problems;
  • Vocational education should aim at the wider development of the individual, as well as being sensitive to trends in the labour market;
  • Prisoners should have direct access to a well-stocked library at least once per week;
  • Physical education and sports for prisoners should be emphasised and encouraged;
  • Creative and cultural activities should be given a significant role because these activities have particular potential to enable prisoners to develop and express themselves;
  • Social education should include practical elements that enable the prisoner to manage daily life within the prison, with a view to facilitating the return to society;
  • Wherever possible, prisoners should be allowed to participate in education outside prison;
  • Where education has to take place within the prison, the outside community should be involved as fully as possible;
  • Measures should be taken to enable prisoners to continue their education after release;
  • The funds, equipment and teaching staff needed to enable prisoners to receive appropriate education should be made available. [3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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