Educational Programs In Prisons

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Educational Programs in Prisons “It is not a surprise to see that prisoners all have a low education level. I guess a more educated person has enough sense not to be involved with crime…the relationship between crime and education is easy to see when viewing these facts” (Cordes 1). This is the view of most people when asked why people are in prison. People simply say that criminals were ill educated. As hard as we may try, we cannot do a lot about what happens before they enter prison, but there are many programs inside prisons to help rehabilitate them for when they leave the prison. The New York Theological Seminary for Afro-American male prisoners (NYTS) runs a program at Sing Sing Prison that allows inmates to get their master’s degree. This program meets five times a week and has only about fourteen to sixteen men admitted every year. The program has become so popular that there is a waiting list of one or more years. The NYTS program helps these men prepare for community service. Forty-two credited hours must be completed in order to receive the degree. Students must also complete a minimum of fifteen hours of field service within the prison. Since the program was established, more than two hundred men have received their degrees. The program is offered in other prisons, and inmates are allowed to transfer to Sing Sing in order to complete the program. Everyday men and women alike challenge themselves, but none as much as those men and women living behind bars. “Freedom is a struggle that begins in one’s mind. These African American men [in Sing Sing Prison] behind bars challenge themselves daily to live as free human beings. Their courage should inspire us to do the same” (Marable 2). There is another federal program that is called Credits for Cons. This is a program proposed by the Clinton administration. They proposed a “fifteen hundred education income tax credit” (Stanglin 1). This would allow volunteers to get the credit if they sponsored an inmate who took college courses. Many believe church members would take part in this plan, as many have done in the past to help drug addicts. Though the proposal has not yet been passed, many people have said they would be an active member in a program like this one. North Carolina also... ... middle of paper ... ... Write Way’ is a wonderful program held at the Stillwater Correctional Facility. In conclusion, educational programs in prison range from very good with programs like “Reaching Out the Write Way” and the programs North Carolina has to the ones that aren’t all that good like credits for cons. “Education, in combination with work programs, can give inmates the skills they need to be successful when they return to their communities...It can enable them to do a job that reduces prison costs, such as taking messages, running a library, like Andy in Shawshank Redemption, or reading recipes to work in the kitchen” (Young 2). Many people think that educating prisoners is “being soft on crime,” but when you think about it, all it really is doing is working to make sure that the “revolving door” will stop revolving (Young 1). If this door keeps going around in the circle it is now, it will come to cost the taxpayers up to if not more than one hundred dollars a day. “The cost of education is minute in comparison to its benefits” (Young 2).

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