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MetamorphosisHow to Transform Punishment in America$
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Robert A. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300230833

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300230833.001.0001

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Education in Prison Reform

Education in Prison Reform

(p.161) 8 Education in Prison Reform

Robert A. Ferguson

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on how advances in education are the ultimate source of improvement, and how it will require a many-tiered coordinated program. Empirical study shows that education makes all the difference in reducing recidivism in prisoners. Recidivism rates vary depending on the quality and the level of educational programs, and quality is notoriously hard to gauge in a prison setting. Even so, all such programs have an impact, and some have a decisive one. If recidivism rates remain at an unacceptably high peak—well over 60 percent—the percentages drop with some education and reach single digits if a person in prison completes a college program. The chapter shows that educational potentials are greater in prisons for women and might, with a realization of what works, be carried into prisons for men.

Keywords:   education, recidivism, prisoners, prison setting, women's prisons, men's prisons, educational programs

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