Vocational Programs for both Offenders and Non-Offenders

4 April 2015
A look at various educational programs for prisoners and the possible benefits thereof.

This paper examines the educational programs available for prisoners. The author discusses the controversial topic of prisoner education, the type of skills and rehabilitation that prisoners can acquire and the economic issues concerned. The author argues that the cost of housing a prisoner are higher than educating one and that the possible behavioral and life skills that prisoners may learn are beneficial in that they not only improve prisoners morale, self-esteem and academic level, they also produce positive behavior and provide an alternative for prisoners when they are released back into public life.
‘Providing all individuals with educational services is a fundamental value in the American society. Discipline and education has been the mainstay of prison programs for inmates since the early years of our penal history. However, providing inmates with an education is a controversial issue, and presents a difficult dilemma to be confronted by tax-paying citizens. There are many conflicting opinions regarding whether we should strive to rehabilitate rather than to merely punish inmates. Yet, when one carefully considers the average cost to provide quality education against the cost of keeping one inmate adequately housed and fed for one year in a state or federal institution, the question becomes, How can we afford not to educate?

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