What is the problem that needs to be solved?
It’s difficult to come back from a mistake one made. Individuals who are in the prison system have to face the consequences to their actions and even after their time of punishment is up, the wrong they did is constantly reminded on a daily basis. In the past, it has been seen that there were attempts at making the transition from prison life to “normal” life through educational programs. There have been numerous studies done to see if educational programs have any positive effect and in almost all done have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of recidivism cases (Esperian, 2010). However due to the privatization of prisons and the lack of support from communities towards these people behind bars it has been harder for such opportunities to be continued (Lundahl, 2009).
Source 1: Esperian, John H. (2010). The Effect of Prison Education Programs on Recidivism. Journal of Correctional Education, 61(4), 316-334.
Summary: This academic journal covers a wide set of variables that can determine the rate of recidivism and the one I chose to focus on was the educational program part. It compares the use of educational or “skill – training” programs available at a private prison vs. a state-run prison. Even though there was a difference between the way these programs are run, both show positive results from the existence of educational programs.
Importance: This is relevant to what I am researching because I believe that the availability of a bevy of educational programs is beneficial to prisoners. Recidivism is the tendency of criminals committing crimes and going back into prison. One of the important parts of having educational programs is to decrease this cycle of entering and returning to jail.
Source 2: Lundahl, B., Kunz, C., Brownell, C., Harris, N., & Van Vleet, R. (2009). Prison Privatization. Research on Social Work Practice., 19(4), 383-394.
Summary: There are many complications when it comes to the prison system and this article enlightens the audience that there is a lack of resources to have prisons functioning. It also compares the difference between private and state-run prisons and both suffer from these limitations.
Importance: This information comes into play when I begin to discuss why there is a lack of educational programs. When it comes to running a prison, education programs aren’t a priority, therefore, there is little funding going into them. Money goes towards food, security, and anything to just make the prison “functional” so anything for the advancement/ benefit for prisoners is limited.