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Prison Education – Is it a Right or a Privilege?

Do you believe that education is right and not a privilege? According to a poll on debate.org, 69 percent of respondents say education is a basic human right, while 31 percent said it is a privilege. Now let’s get a little controversial. Assuming that the majority of Americans see education as a basic right, should it

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The Choice Bus Uses Prisoner Perspectives to Discourage Dropping Out

By Christopher Zoukis

In an effort to stem the school-to-prison pipeline and to keep kids in school, the Choice Bus was rolled out to help students understand their options in life, and how their decisions can affect their futures.

The Choice Bus is an initiative of the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, a national nonprofit created in 2007 to help educators, community leaders and other interested groups reduce the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. Dr. Shelley Stewart named the foundation in honor of his mother, whose murder he witnessed at the hands of his father at the age of five. The tragic incident put him at risk of poverty, homelessness and dropping out of school. Had it not been for a passionate teacher, Stewart’s life may have gone in a different direction. Instead, education made all the difference in his life.

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New Programs in Pennsylvania Boost Opportunities for Female Inmates

By Christopher Zoukis For five years, inmates haven’t even had the opportunity to obtain high school equivalency diplomas at the Lackawanna County Prison in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The GED program was scrapped during a county budgeting crisis in 2012 and has yet to be reinstated. Still, positive changes are on the horizon at the facility, with

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Prison Misuse a Huge Burden on Taxpayers, Society

Mass incarceration costs billions each year, but the toll on society is not just financial. By Christopher Zoukis There are myriad issues with the current U.S. system of mass incarceration where more people are imprisoned than any other country in the world, and often in a hugely skewed manner — one which varies widely across

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Instructional Leadership in Prison Education

Submitted by Peter Zitko Adj. Professor of Political Science at Solano College Different organizational settings require the use of various leadership theory tools. For instance, a military leader on the battlefield may necessarily use a leadership model that is quite different than that of a cleric. In many instances, a specific leadership model does not

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Cal State to Participate in Second Chance Pell Pilot Program

By Christopher Zoukis The Department of Education has announced a Second Chance Pell Pilot Program as part of the Obama administration’s goals to have a fairer criminal justice system, reduce recidivism, and reduce the impact of the effects of incarceration on communities. The Second Chance Pell Program will allow incarcerated individuals to receive Pell Grants

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Legislators Support TV over Education in New York State Prisons

By Christopher Zoukis While combating idleness and restlessness in America’s prisons is certainly necessary to avoid disruptions and violence, how this is accomplished is up for debate. Lawmakers in New York State said no to a proposal this month, during the last legislative session, made by Governor Andrew Cuomo that would allocate $1 million a

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Corrections Spending Grows Well Outpaces Education Outlays

According to a new study by researchers at the federal Department of Education’s Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, over a 33-year span, corrections spending by state and local governments rose by 324%, climbing from $17 billion in 1979-1980 to $71 billion in 2012-2013. That represented more than a threefold increase for state and

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New York Governor’s Plan for Prison Education Might Make It This Time

By Christopher Zoukis New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is continuing his call for college courses to be offered to inmates in New York prisons. Part of the governor’s ‘Right Priorities’ criminal justice initiatives, the proposal for college classes for inmates resembles a plan Cuomo proposed in 2014, only to abandon six weeks later in

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From the streets to programming tweets

By Christopher Zoukis One of the biggest obstacles we face in prison education programs these days, is the outpacing of technology in terms of both course content and equipment. Technological development has occurred at breakneck speed in the last ten years, yet instruction in those areas is largely absent in the bulk of penal institutions.

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