The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world's population, yet incarcerates about 25 percent of the world's prisoners. Examining a wealth of studies by researchers and correctional professionals, and the experience of educators, this book shows recidivism rates drop in direct correlation with the amount of education prisoners receive, and the rate drops dramatically with each additional level of education attained. Presenting a workable solution to America's mass incarceration and recidivism problems, this book demonstrates that great fiscal benefits arise when modest sums are spent educating prisoners. Educating prisoners brings a reduction in crime and social disruption, reduced domestic spending and a rise in quality of life.
REVIEW: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It's a known fact, our criminal justice system is broken. We want to think that it works, that the three strikes system works, that we put away hardened criminals and we can forget about them. We can put away any criminal and forget about them. The fact is we are facing a prison system that is horribly overcrowded, underfunded and just plain broken shows itself over and over again in comparison to other countries. Is America so messed up that we have to put so many more people behind bars than other countries per capita?
Now, reading this book, my gut instinct was, "How dare anyone in prison get to have a college degree when I am only just finishing paying off my own student loans twenty years after the fact?" I'm a law-abiding citizen, and I still don't have the education I want because the fact of the matter is that I can't afford it. I didn't want to like this book but the author did present a pretty strong case in favor of offering education to prisoners, and did show that it is to society's benefit that we do offer it to prisoners.
On the other hand, if college courses and degree programs are offered so much cheaper to prisoners than to the general populace, there is a problem. It should be the same price for the general populace and to prisoners, so drop the high tuition for those of us outside prison.
Past the argument itself, the book was full of dry facts, prepare yourself for reading something like a thesis paper.