Prison educational programs are extremely beneficial for inmates in myriad ways, from bolstering their communication skills to making them more hirable.
Down the line, the positive effects education can have on prisoners helps them establish successful lives post-release and stay out of prison, which we sorely need at a time when our prisons are seeing dangerously high recidivism rates.
Our current recidivism problem
The Bureau of Justice Statistics released a report in 2014 studying the outcomes of 404,638 prisoners up to five years after their release. They found that around two-thirds were arrested within three years and three-quarters were arrested within five.
More recently, a study from the U.S. Sentencing Commission released in 2016 studied outcomes for 25,431 prisoners within eight years of their release. They found that almost half of all prisoners were rearrested within that time frame.
Why we need to do something about recidivism
The most apparent problem with high recidivism rates is the reality that our prison system is failing to rehabilitate inmates and is instead just creating a permanent under-class of the incarcerated. We cannot forget that the criminal justice system does not exist simply to punish, but to rehabilitate and reintegrate inmates into…