ERIC Number: ED369677
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Jul
Prison Education and Offender Behavior: A Review of the Scientific Literature. Prision Education Research Project: Report 1.
Gerber, Jurg; Fritsch, Eric J.
This paper provides an overview of the literature evaluating the outcomes of adult correctional education programs. The goal was to identify research that assessed the effects of correctional education on inmates. The paper focused on four possible outcomes: (1) Do inmates who participated in education programs while incarcerated have lower recidivism rates than nonparticipants? (2) Are participants more likely than nonparticipants to enroll in educational programs upon release from incarceration? (3) Do participants have better employment records than nonparticipants after release? and (4) Do participants exhibit fewer disciplinary problems than nonparticipants while incarcerated? Adult education in prison could lead in two ways to a reduction in criminal behavior, to postrelease enrollment in education, to better postrelease employment history, and to fewer disciplinary problems. First, inmates could become more conscientious as a result of moral development due to exposure to the liberal arts. Second, inmates may benefit because they have better educational credentials upon release, which lead to more opportunities. The document distinguishes between academic, vocational, and social education. Some studies focus on the outcomes of participation in college education; others examine high school or below high school education. Other studies analyze the outcomes of educational programs for juveniles; some concentrate on programs for adults. The paper discusses separately the literature dealing with each of these programs. The discussion focuses on academic and vocational education for adults. The most common finding is that inmates exposed to education programs have lower recidivism rates than nonparticipants. (DK)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sam Houston State Univ., Huntsville, TX. Criminal Justice Center.