"College For Convicts" is a book that Christopher Zoukis wrote, as an inmate himself, trying to get attention to our US government to allow inmates to be able to receive an accredited degree while in prison. Education in prisons has been shown to reduce recidivism. With 95% of prisoners being released back into society one day, which is estimated at 700,000 people, who will be turned out again on to the streets and in our communities with no more skills or knowledge to maintain a good job, we will most likely see these prisoners going back into the prison system again.
While in our prisons today, there are some prisons that will offer training classes and the sad thing about these classes are they aren't worth the paper the ink is written on. These certificates that they receive when the classes are completed can actually make it worse on a person trying to get a job once on the outside, because an employer can see the certificates and it really indicates all about the ex-con's jail time and why, costing the person to not receive the job.
There are pro's and con's to me about educating inmates.
Con: Most all of the drug dealers, robbers and other criminals that our penal code imprisons each day all across the US, are illiterate, have either dropped out of school and may or may not received a G.E.D which is why a good paying job is hard to find so they then resort to selling drugs and stealing to make the money they need to survive and feed their families. But, should we tax payers have to pick up their bad pieces and give them a free education that other good citizens rightfully earn through completing high school, receiving good grades, getting scholarships and attending universities to receive an education that they can go out and make great amounts of money and live the American dream? Also, it costs the American taxpayers $70 Billion to shelter, give healthcare to and for social services. It is all in how you see it, and when you read this book, "College For Convicts" your mind may open up to a different view.
Pro: With such low educational skills how is an ex-con able to find a good paying job to support his family and keep himself from falling back into the crime which in turn sends him back to prison? If we could just educate 10 to 30 % of inmates we could save over $60 Billion a year. This could help them find better paying jobs and this will make our communities safer and these cons would then become contributing taxpayers themselves. It would only cost $1400 a year to educate 1 prisoner resulting in less crime and the person ending back up in prison again.
We, as Americans, living in such a violent and criminal world, have to ask ourselves, is education a form of coddling prisoners, or does it make sense because it enhances public safety? Christopher Zoukis checked out how all the other countries treat their prisoners as far as education goes and some are working quite well. In Scotland, for instance, a prisoner begins an educational course, a learning plan is drawn up. Progress is monitored regularly and reviewed every 6 months. To be successful, these plans must include post - release services. This is how we find most countries handling their education services, but post services have to be included.
In Australia, they focus mainly on rehabilitation. Australia embraces community partnerships to ensure that prisoners are trained during incarceration and also reintegrated and employed after their release into society.
In my opinion, I would have to agree with educating an inmate. I feel the pros outweighs the cons. If there could be a group of employers that could embrace this system and the ex-con could use the knowledge they learned, and the employer would be able to learn to trust them, I could see it working. But, like everything in our country, and in life in general, there are 2 sides to everything. I feel that deep inside that young, uneducated, poverty stricken, man that is selling drugs to feed his family would much rather be working in a nice company with great benefits. Maybe, there needs to be help way before we get to the prison so there would, and could, give those destined for badness, a chance at a normal life.
I am only a reviewer with my own personal opinion of this book, but I encourage you all to read Mr. Zoukis' book and form your own opinion. You can purchase this book here. It is a great book, written with much concern and care for the underdog.
If you would like to try and win this book then please enter my Rafflecopter below. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway