Prison Inmates Should be Allowed to Take College Courses Tamitha Boltz Unit 6 Prison Inmates Should be Allowed to Take College Courses Prison inmates should be allowed to take college courses because an education offers a positive change for their release back into society. The education they receive will offer life skills and provide them with positive reinforcement to change their lives for the better; while restructuring the way some think and continue through life and society through making proper choices and better role models. While in prison, education would provide a crucial key for inmate rehabilitation.
Part of that rehabilitation can be in the form of education. Education in the prison system generally geared towards the shorter sentence person focuses on giving them the necessary tools to succeed upon release. They can receive career and trade training as well as ethical and legal training so that they have a clear understanding of right from wrong. Having these tools can help the inmate adapt back into society. Perhaps with these tools we would have less repeat offenders, thus reducing our prison population and decreasing crime and poverty.
Career and trade education can help the inmate build a foundation for his or her future; providing a better chance for a job upon release. Teaching them the basics of reading, writing and math skills can greatly improve their chances of gainful employment. These skills are necessary for success. With these tools, an inmate can read a newspaper, search for available jobs, do vocational surveys to see what they could be good at as a career and be able to budget their money in the event of employment. Allowing them to expand on the basics with college or trade skill courses within the prison system can be beneficial to them as well.
They can learn to think critically and positively, guiding them to making better and more moral decisions. By enabling our inmates with positive change, they are less likely to continue with the life of crime. This brings me to my next point. When we have taken the time to educate our inmate population, we have the greater chance of reducing crime. Many of the petty crimes and minor violations are therefore, reduced because the need to commit those crimes on a financial basis is no longer there if the inmate can find a job.
If the prisoner has also been educated, they will more than likely have a broader moral compass than if they were “just doing their time”. Some inmates, upon their release, make similar mistakes and commit crimes; with an educated prison populous, this potentially becomes eliminated for most inmates. With a decrease in crimes, the prison population decreases, as does “the cost” to house them in prisons. The increased revenue is then used in educating first time offenders, thus reducing the risk of them becoming repeat offenders.
Creating positive influences on our prisoners can reap many more benefits than just educating and releasing back into society. Just as we invest money to educate our children, we can reinvest money to target populations that our prisoners come from to prevent crimes. When we teach them new skills that can better their lives, they can then teach others by example. Once an inmate enters back into society and gets a job in his or her field, stays away from crime, and makes better choices, they can make a positive impact on their communities.
Younger generations can see the encouraging example set forth and know that they too can make wiser decisions and hope for the future. Peers may then realize the errors of their ways and choose to make informed choices and leave the life of crime for a brighter tomorrow. The easy fast money that has been so appealing for these criminals in the past will ultimately end the prisoners right back in jail, so therefore education and change is their only outlet.
If we make education available, society also benefits. Less crime means safer areas for our families. Morals and values become a part of the educated inmate’s life, and they pass this on to their families and peers upon release. Will experience economic growth because these possible repeat offenders without education will instead come out of prison with the abilities to get and maintain jobs, thus earning the money honestly to pay their bills, take vacations and make purchases.
Prison inmates who receive any form of formal education will be better prepared to face real world experiences. We can hope for that individual inmate’s life that they will make positive choices, and turn away from criminal activities. Society as a whole can be safer. With an education, each inmate will experience a sense of pride and his or her self-esteem will increase. Therefore, yes, prison inmates should be allowed to take college courses and prepare themselves to reenter society. Is this worth the investment? I believe that it is.