The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population, yet incarcerates about 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Examining a wealth of studies by researchers and correctional professionals, and the experience of educators, this book shows recidivism rates drop in direct correlation with the amount of education prisoners receive, and the rate drops dramatically with each additional level of education attained.
Presenting a workable solution to America’s mass incarceration and recidivism problems, this book demonstrates that great fiscal benefits arise when modest sums are spent educating prisoners. Educating prisoners brings a reduction in crime and social disruption, reduced domestic spending and a rise in quality of life.
About the author:
Christopher Zoukis is an impassioned advocate for prison education, a legal scholar, and a prolific writer of books, book reviews, and articles. His articles on prison education and prison law appear frequently in Prison Legal News, and have been published in The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, Huffington Post and Midwest Book Review, among other national, regional, and specialty publications.
Mr. Zoukis is often quoted on matters concerning prison law, criminal law, prisoners’ rights, and prison education. Recently, he was the focus of an article at Salon.com concerning America’s broken criminal justice system and potential solutions to the current crisis.
When not in the thick of the battle for prison reform, prison education, or prisoners’ rights advocacy, Mr. Zoukis can be found blogging at PrisonLawBlog.com, PrisonEducation.com, and ChristopherZoukis.com.
Excerpt Education for Those Who are Incarcerated for Life?
And what about prisoners who have no hope of ever being released? Is there any point to putting themselves through the gruelling hard word? …[sic] Indeed it is. Some of the reasons are obvious: to build a sense of self-worth, to escape the stress and tension of a violent environment, and so forth. But there is another reason, more profound and more compelling than any other: education is the path to restitution.
Too often, prisoners feel their lives count for nothing, that their years have been a destructive waste. Education can help them make amends and make a meaningful contribution to society, even within prison walls.
If prisoners with lifelong sentences are educated they, in turn, can teach others who are eager to learn, who want a way out of their going-nowhere lifestyle.
Most prisoners cannot afford to enrol in traditional courses. But educated “lifers” can teach them. Tutor them. Help them to pass exams. They can become part of a process to transform fellow prisoners, and when those prisoners leave the prison world, they would be prepared to pursue further education. For both the teacher and the student, studying is a way to embark on the adventure of new discoveries, to experience a productive life, and to rediscover an enthusiasm for living, even while confined.