ERIC Number: ED346303
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Bright Hopes, Dim Realities: Vocational Innovation in American Correctional Education.
Schlossman, Steven; And Others
Correctional education has thrived only in the context of a broader ideological consensus in favor of rehabilitation rather than punishment. This consensus has been far from the mainstream of correctional thinking in the United States during the 1980s. Modern advocates of prison industries are attempting to reinstate a once-operative principle. Vocational education is cast as an either-or, inflexible substitute for remunerative prison labor. Vocational training programs probably cannot survive without a real commitment to some productive end products, whether organized as traditional prison industries or not. The introduction of vocational training into U.S. prisons around the turn of the century has been misunderstood. The contributions of the pioneer vocational educator, Superintendent Zebulon Brockway of the Elmira Reformatory, have been both under- and overestimated in the scholarly literature. The true "age of reform" in correctional education dates to the 1930s. A study of the New York State Vocational Institution shows the enormous difficulties that have beset even the best-designed and well-intentioned efforts to transform prisons into institutions of vocational training: development of correctional education programs from a pedagogical standpoint; staffing; expense related to obtaining vocational equipment for training; inmate recruitment; administrator allegiance; and job placement. Given the current penal philosophy committed to the goals of deterrence and retribution, reform in correctional education is constrained. (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Vocational Education, Community Attitudes, Correctional Education, Correctional Rehabilitation, Crime Prevention, Criminology, Educational Finance, Educational History, Educational Trends, Institutionalized Persons, Program Development, Vocational Education, Vocational Rehabilitation
NCRVE Materials Distribution Service, 46 Horrabin Hall, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 (order no. MDS-077: $3.75).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Berkeley, CA.