Prison Education

Topics: Prison, Higher education, Recidivism Pages: 4 (1348 words) Published: February 22, 2012
Prison Education Commentary

(Donovan Green image taken from National Geographic website) The day has finally come, standing there in his blue cap and gown, Donovan Green waits patiently to walk into the room where his graduation ceremony will take place. His daughter who he has not seen for over ten years is in attendance and he is full of joy. He has finally achieved something good in his life and with his new confidence he is determined to turn his life around. He has hopes and dreams of being released in less than a year and finding a job that will support him and his daughter financially. For once in his life his daughter has something to be proud of him for. Although he is celebrating now, Thomas Green has fought a long battle to receive his diploma. Green was charged with aggravated assault and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Over the course of his sentence, Green continued his association with a gang known as the Cripps behind bars in exchange for their protection. A couple years into Greens sentence, Jim White (a fellow inmate serving a life sentence for murder in the 1st degree) started an education program with the goal to send two hundred of his fellow inmates to college while incarcerated. Green decided to join the program in an effort to rehabilitate himself and also prove to his daughter (whom he hasn’t seen since she was two) that he can take care of her upon his release. One may assume studying behind bars would be easy considering the amount of free time a prisoner has to study. In reality it’s not that simple. Imagine trying to study around hundreds of killers, rapists, and thieves with the constant threat of being attacked by one of them. Everyday your life is in jeopardy at any given time someone could snap. The problem with White’s education program in the prison is that you’re not allowed to break any of the prison rules while attending or you’ll be removed from the program and the progress towards your diploma will be thrown away....

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Harlow, C. Bureau of Justice Statistics Report: Selected Findings: Prior Abuse Reported by
Inmates and Probationers. Washington D.C.: Department of Justice, 2003. Print.
"Inmate U." Lockdown. National Geographic: 2007. Television. 8 Apr 2011.
Pollock, Joycelyn. Prisons and Prison Life. 1st ed. Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing
Company, 2004. pp 130-38. Print.
Welsh, M. The Effects of the Eliminations of Pell Grant Eligibility for State Prison
Inmates. Ashland: Journal of Correctional Education, 2002. Print.
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