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Why Is Prison Education So Important?

By Nick Sizemore

How many times have we heard the old cliché? “Education is important. It’s the key to success.” Undoubtedly, too many times to even fathom, probably having heard it repeated since that first bad grade in elementary school and every year after. I know that I did. Though, I never thought to question why. Why is education so important?

On the surface, the answer to the question is simple: Without an education a good job is hard to find. To an extent this is true, but how often have we met people who went to college and majored in a subject they didn’t end up going into? In that instance, the education, while a smart move in general, was for the wrong reasons. The same can be said of prisoners who obtain an education just so it looks good on the record at parole hearings or upon release. The issue is that, while it looks good, it most certainly won’t prevent the person from returning to prison. On the other hand, if the prisoner’s motivation for obtaining the education was sincere – and not simply to impress – then it will more than likely have a life-changing impact. It may very well keep them out of the revolving door back to prison.

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