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Why on Earth Should We Bother Educating Prisoners?

An Australian named John Braithwaite wrote a book titled Prisons, Education and Work.  His book was published in 1980.  In his book, Braithwaite presented a number of very cogent and persuasive ideas concerning prisoners and education.

At the time Braithwaite wrote, the general consensus in Australia was that prisoners should not receive any benefits greater than those given to the lowest and poorest people in Australian society.  In other words, if poor people didn’t have it, then prisoners certainly shouldn’t have it.  Poor people didn’t have access to educational opportunities, therefore prisoners shouldn’t either.  If prisoners were granted advantages equal to or greater than law-abiding citizens then something was wrong somewhere.  Put simply, prisoners were to be punished, not rewarded.

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Prison Education: Self-Supporting Institutional Education Programs

As noted in the previous post titled “FCI-Petersburg’s Education Department Problems and Innovative Solutions,” the idea of self-supporting programs is very intriguing. The primary concern of institutional educational programming is its cost-effectiveness. There is a set budget and every Supervisor of Education must use his or her funding to the best of their abilities to help as many incarcerated students as possible.

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