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What Happened To Prison Education Programs?

Analysis: Marlene Martin THE 1960s were turbulent years; social change was in the air. Jim Crow  segregation was dismantled, and the civil rights movement brought  questions of racial and social justice into every household–and also  into every prison. As people sought to change society on the outside, so did prisoners on the inside. The Attica

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Support for Inmate Education

By Torrey Sims

Photo courtesy correctionalnews.comPercy Pitzer, along with wife Jeanine, founded the Creative Corrections Education Foundation. Often the public looks at correctional facilities as a final stop for punishment for those convicted of crimes, but now many are realizing that correctional facilities can be better utilized as a place for rehabilitation and learning.

There have been many programs implemented by different states as a way to ensure the success of inmates while they are behind bars in order to give them the skills they need to be a valued member of society upon release. In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback is an advocate for the state’s Mentoring4Success program, part of the nonprofit Brothers in Blue reentry program at the state’s Lansing Correctional Facility.

“Our goal is to reduce the rate of inmates returning to prisons,” Brownback said in a statement. “The men and women involved with the Brothers of Blue reentry program at Lansing are great examples of the tremendous impact a mentor can have on the life of an inmate. They are deeply involved with their mentees who are making great progress as they prepare for their release. We need more like them.”

Mentoring4Success was launched in July 2011 as a way to bring education and support to the state’s incarcerated men and women. Currently, the program has more than 1,150 mentors across the state, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections. Inmates become eligible for the program when they have six to 12 remaining months left on their prison sentences. The hope, according to a statement by Kansas Corrections Secretary Ray Roberts, is to be able to have a mentor for every inmate in Kansas.

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