Texas Study on Postsecondary Correctional Education

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy

In the field of correctional education there are numerous tools, different types of prison education programming which can be used to teach and treat our incarcerated students.  These include basic literacy, high school equivalency (often in the form of GED classes), Adult Continuing Education, Adult Basic Education, vocational training, college in prison, and more.  All of these are effective at helping our incarcerated students prepare for a law abiding life outside of prison.  All of these forms of correctional education programming have been shown to reduce recidivism, instances of prison misconduct, and victimization.  But the one proven time and time again to be the most effective is postsecondary correction education; college courses offered in prisons.  And with this knowledge, we examine one such correctional education study that proves this point, and emphatically so.

According to the Institute for Higher Education Policy, one study on correctional education in Texas specifically looked at the costs and benefits of running college-level education programs for state prisoners.  For the 2004 year alone, they found the following:


  • ·         Texas spent $14,700 in incarceration costs per prisoner in 2004, totaling $2.4 billion for the State.
  • ·         Texas spent only $3.7 million (0.15 percent of the corrections’ budget) on non-college correctional education, which equated to $382 per prison inmate.
  • ·         After including college costs in the equation, the State of Texas spent $3,082 per prisoner on education.


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Prison News in Brief: Alabama through Florida

By Prison Legal News

This installment of Prison News in Brief concerns news from Alabama through Florida and is brought to us by our friends at Prison Legal News.

  • Alabama Prison News

On July 29, 2013 there was a break-in at the Draper Correctional Facility.  According to the Department of Corrections, three sections of the prison were burglarized in the early morning hours, and laptop computers and multiple weapons were discovered missing when employees started arriving around 5:00 AM.  The facility’s farm office, radio shop, and dog kennels, which are located apart from the prison population, were reportedly breached.

  • Arizona Prison News

Newly-hired Maricopa County jail guard Rachel Harris, 22, was attacked on June 24, 2013 by prisoner Bobby Ruiz as she entered his cell at the Lower Buckeye Jail, and during the assault Ruiz bit off part of one of her ears.  Two other prisoners rushed in to help Harris, pulling Ruiz off her and restraining him until other guards arrived.  Sheriff Joe Arpaio told reporters that the missing piece of Harris’ ear could not be found and that Ruiz had presumably swallowed it.

  • Arkansas Prison News

Steven Mitchell, 39, died in a crash on July 30, 2013 after leading police on a chase through the state of Missouri.  He had escaped from the Jacksonville County Detention Center in Arkansas two days earlier with another prisoner.  A Nissan Sentra driven by Mitchell’s wife, Jessica, with Mitchell as a passenger, was pulled over.  When the officer asked Jessica to step out of the car, Mitchell jumped into the driver’s seat and sped away.  Sheriff David Lucas told ABC News that “During the pursuit, Mitchell wrecked his vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.”

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