Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

Do Prisoners Deserve An Education?


THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS TRYING OUT A PILOT
PROGRAM THAT WOULD GIVE INMATES ACCESS TO PROGRAMS. TELEGRAMS
ARE SUPPOSED TO HELP PEOPLE PAY FOR COLLEGE, AND IT IS LIMITED
TO A VERY SMALL AMOUNT, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE
HIGH COSTS OF COLLEGE. WITH THESE GRANTS, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO
PAY IT BACK, AND IT DOES HELP TO MAKE COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE.
EVEN THOUGH THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT HAS NOT BEEN SPECIFIC
ABOUT WHAT TYPES OF INMATES OR PROGRAMS WOULD QUALIFY FOR THIS,
IT DOES SEEM A GOOD IDEA, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU THINK THAT
IT WOULD LOWER THE – RATES. CONGRESS PASSED LEGISLATION IN 1994 BANNING
INMATES FROM THIS
PROGRAM. INMATES ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO GET MONEY FROM
COLLEGE, BUT THERE IS A LOOPHOLE THAT SAYS THIS IS A PILOT
PROGRAM, SO WE WILL SEE IF THIS WORKS. AT FIRST I HAD A
KNEE-JERK REACTION TO THIS, BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE A
LOT OF LAW-ABIDING STUDENTS OUT THERE DEALING WITH STUDENT DEBT, AND I FEEL LIKE THEY DESERVE THE
MONEY. THIS ONLY GOES TO LOW INCOME PEOPLE. THE MAXIMUM AWARD FOR THE 2015 ñ 2016 YEAR
IS ABOUT $7500. WE DO NOT DO ENOUGH TO REHABILITATE PEOPLE. IF THIS HELPS WITH SOME
RECIDIVISM, THEN I’M WITH IT. BUT ON THE SURFACE IT SOMEBODY
SHADY DEAL FOR REGULAR STUDENTS. IF WE HAD ANYWHERE NEAR A
JUST SYSTEM, THEN THIS WOULD BE AN OPEN QUESTION. UNDER THE
CURRENT SYSTEM IT’S A NO-BRAINER. DEFINITELY GIVE IT
TO THEM. HALF THE PEOPLE IN PRISON BECAUSE OF A DRUG
OFFENSE. THIS PROHIBITION IS INSANE, THEY SHOULD NEVER BE IN
PRISON IN THE FIRST PLACE. WE’RE IMPRISONING A WHOLE
GENERATION OF PEOPLE THAT HAPPENED TO BE BORN IN THE WRONG
NEIGHBORHOOD, WHERE THE MAIN INDUSTRY IS IN SELLING DRUGS.
WHERE THERE IS NO OTHER OPPORTUNITY, WHERE WE’VE DRAINED
THEIR SCHOOLS OF ALL THE MONEY THERE IS, THEY CAN’T EVEN TAKE
THE TEXTBOOKS HOME. NOBODY IS THERE TO TELL THEM THAT THEY CAN
GET AN EDUCATION AND DO OTHER THINGS, AND THEN WE BLAME THEM
FOR THE INDUSTRY TO BE CREATED AND PUT THEM IN PRISON. IF YOU
WANT TO GIVE PEOPLE IN PRISON OPPORTUNITY TO ACTUALLY LEARN,
GO TO COLLEGE AND HAVE ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY? UNDER THIS SYSTEM, I LOVE IT. ONE OF THESE
REPUBLICANS IS GOING TO SAY A MURDERER WILL END UP GETTING A
PELL GRANT, AND THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS, I KNOW, BUT WE DON’T
WANT ñ IF THEY ARE GOING TO COME OUT OF PRISON, WOULDN’T IT BE
BETTER IF THEY CAME OUT COLLEGE EDUCATED? GET A REAL JOB, RATHER
THAN GOING BACK TO A LIFE OF CRIME? THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO
IS YOU TAKE A HARDENED CRIMINAL AND YOU ON HARD AT THEM BY GIVING THEM A COLLEGE
EDUCATION, THAT IS A WIN. THERE WAS A STUDY ON THIS TO
SEE WHAT KIND OF IMPACT EDUCATION WOULD HAVE ON
PRISONERS. THE STUDY FOUND THAT INMATES WHO TOOK PART IN
EDUCATION PROGRAMS BEHIND BARS HAD FORTY PERCENT LOWER ARE THE
RETURNING TO PRISON THAN INMATES WHO HAD NOT. IT IS ACTUALLY
CHEAPER IN THE LONG RUN, BUT ANOTHER THING TO KEEP IN MIND IS
THAT THIS IS ONLY HALF OF THE ISSUE. YES, YOU CAN PROVIDE AN
EDUCATION, AND THEY ARE MORE LIKELY TO FIND A JOB ONCE THEY
GET OUT OF PRISON, BUT ONCE YOU ARE A CONVICTED FELON, AND YOU
ARE FILLING OUT JOB APPLICATIONS, THE LOT OF THEM
ASK YOU WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF A FELONY,
AND IF YOU SAY YES YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET THE JOB. THE
STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH BEING A CONVICTED FELON ALSO NEEDS TO BE DIMINISHED SOMEHOW. I KNOW
THERE ARE SOME CRIMES, LIKE RAPE, OR MURDER, OR ASSAULT WITH
A DEADLY WEAPON, WHERE A COMPANY WOULD FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE HIRING
SOMEONE, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO GOT
INCARCERATED FOR NONVIOLENT DRUG OFFENSES? THEY DESERVE A FAIR SHOT, AND I
HATED THEIR LUNCH TOGETHER WITH ALL THE OTHER CRIMINALS. MOST COMPANIES DON’T PAY
ATTENTION TO THAT. YOU CHECK THAT BOX OFF, AND YOU ARE DONE.
DOESN’T MATTER IF IT WAS FOR LOITERING, YOU ARE DONE. ONCE
YOU SERVER SENTENCE, I THINK IT IS OVER. WE CANNOT KEEP
PUNISHING PEOPLE TO THE END OF TIME. YOU SERVER SENTENCE, BUT
NOW FOR THE REST OF TIME YOU HAVE TO CHECK THAT BOX OFF, YOU
CAN ONLY LIVE THERE, YOU CAN’T LIVE HERE, AND ON AND ON IT GOES. WE ALREADY IMPRISON
PEOPLE AT A GREATER RATE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY. WE PUNISH
PEOPLE REALLY HARD, UNLESS THEY ARE BANKERS. ENOUGH, ENOUGH.
THERE’S JUST NO MERCY LEFT IN THE COUNTRY, AT ALL. AGAIN, UNLESS YOU’RE INCREDIBLY
RICH OR POWERFUL, THEN YOU CAN CLAIM AFFLUENZA, OR GET OFF
FOR THE LARGEST FRAUD IN AMERICAN HISTORY, ALL
THE THOSE THINGS. BUT YOU ARE AN AVERAGE AMERICAN,
THEN WE HAVE NO MERCY AND WE’RE SICK OF IT.

100 Replies to “Do Prisoners Deserve An Education?”

  • Do they deserve it? Yes, everyone deserves an education. Should they get an education? Of fucking course, if we care about rehabilitation then education is a necessary part of that if we want them to become a productive member of society after they leave prison. Only a conservative with his head up his ass could have a problem with this.

    We also need to change the rules so that ex-cons no longer have to check boxes when applying for a job (unless maybe if it's really specific and relevant like someone convicted of fraud applying for a job at a bank). You can't hope for rehabilitation while treating them like a criminal for the rest of their lives at the same time. Their debt should be considered payed when they leave prison and they should be given a fair chance to re-integrate into society.

  • Well, yes, everybody should be able to access education, regardless of what they've done in the past (Which is frequently trade or merely possession of low-level drugs), but that's irrelevant, as it decreases recidivism. And if you're one of those selfish assholes saying "Oh, but I didn't get my college education paid for!" (A line of logic by which society should never advance and we should all be homeless hunter gatherers because "But I didn't get to sleep under a mammoth skin tent when I was a lad!"), then maybe they can pay for it if we can reach a compromise where prisoners get paid going rates for their labour and have access to the competitive markets. Being cut off from your community and loved ones is enough punishment without being barely more than a slave, and no business person wants to compete with such absurdly cheap labour.

  • Obviously they should. Some welfare recipients should be given an education as well. Our entire society and economy would be so much better off. These people are in a bad way, at least in large part because they have never been able to access quality education (even in the public schools in their area, growing up)

  • so cenk you would have no problem with a pedi living right next door to you and your young child nice why don't you give a job as a baby sitter or something

  • College? Some of these inmates haven't even finished High School. This should only be done for offenders who are 1) non-violent 2) academicly gifted in the sense that they won't quit on their degree and 3) be required to repay the money if they end up back in prision

  • I knew a girl who was pretty poor, she was a good student but she didn't have any money when she graduated from high school, so she got a job and went to community college and got her AA degree by taking classes as she could afford them and then transferred to a 4-year and went into debt. No one offered to pay for her education, she did it on her own. By the logic in this video she should've just tried to sell a joint to a police officer, that way she could've gotten her education paid for by the state. Oh, but then she would have a record, that she'd have to put down on her application/resume and she wouldn't be hired anyway. I say help the people who haven't done anything wrong first, and if there's money left over, THEN help prisoners. Or just make education free for everyone.

  • Pay now or pay later! Most people don't have a problem with disposing of other humans for reasons that nobody can truly explain. Conditioning is probably at the top of the list. We spend millions on federally funded grants that tell us what we already know. Poverty inhibits cognitive function and the end result is dependence. Where that dependence manifests itself has a lot to do with environment. The money our country spends to incarcerate nonviolent offenders could be better spent to end this cycle of hopelessness. Investment in our fellow human beings is the true trickle down economics.

  • My son was raped by his best friend when he was 18-years-old. Inmates should NEVER be able to get an education. The system should be built to destroy people who commit crimes, so that their lives continue to be hell on Earth after they come out. This is why I love America so much. The system FIST FUCKS them!!!!! And I couldn't be happier with it.

    Trump 2016

  • As someone who taught in a prison for Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL I can  confirm education works.  Several students  earned their degrees after being released. Many of the others still haven't returned to prison. Unfortunately, as Ana and Cenk pointed out, the conservatives came into power and ended the program. Building new prisons is seen as economic development and jobs; programs to keep people out of prison is not.

  • Do you really, actually believe that someone who values and prioritizes going to college would commit a crime and be sent to jail for an extended time just to get cheap college? Wouldn't that contradict the intelligence required to prioritize college in the first place?

  • oh, thank you Cenk for straightening me out!! it's society that makes people commit crimes. so the Browns and Martins of the world that LIVE disrupting the class and physically and verbally assaulting classmates and teachers are innocent. It's not their fault in any way for becoming the plague that they are..well were.

  • No, no, no, no. You got it twisted fools. Prisoners don't deserve an education. Society DESERVES for prisoners to get an education. Don't get me wrong; I've been a college student for a while now and it is awful for numerous reasons, one being loans. We definitely need to take care of the general population first, but many of theses people will have to be integrated back into society. Do want uneducated people being involved with anything really? I mean, we already have a population of ignorant voters. If you're going to argue that education is ever a bad thing (effective arguing being something you learn during education), you lose.

  • The issue is not having to check off convicted felony, the issue is the laws that criminalize non violent crimes. FIX THE LAW, employers should always have the right to know who they are hiring, it affects them and the people they serve and employ.

  • Holy shit, I, until recently, WORKED in a prison and my god, most of them would benefit from having an education of some kind. A lot of the inmates I had to deal with didn't even have a proper high school education or even a GED. That's not some coincidence, smarter people simply don't go to jail as often as dumb people. Plain and simple.

  • Good god, he's so right. If you're in jail and you've served your sentence or paid your fine, that's it, your criminal history shouldn't be an acceptable reason to bar hiring except in very special situations like Child Molestation or something. You'd definitely want to know who was working at a daycare. But as far as working at a bank, or an office or whatever, if they're good workers, they're good workers. Period. I worked with so many inmates who weren't evil, who weren't bad people, these were people who could just as easily have been my friendly neighbors or business owners, but they fucked up. They shouldn't have to suffer for the rest of their lives for something they did 15 years ago.

  • i'm not just saying this bc she's a woman, but wtf is with the lipstick?  if a guy reporter wears something that stands out in such an obvious way, i'd say wtf about it too.  unless someone else put that makeup on, and she didnt evn look at it, she had to have known how fricken red and loud it is.  what was she thinking?

  • Everyone should have the right to education. Even serial killers and child molesters should have access to education.

  • Yes, they do. In fact it's the strongest point towards rehabilitation.

    Anyone who is against deserves no sympathy or respect.

  • No. Already paying for them to be in jail for the crimes they've committed. Liberal's obsession with sympathizing for criminals is nauseating.

  • as anna brought up it's all well and good they get educated but no one is going to hire them at the end of the day

  • If you don't check the "Were you convicted of a crime that you haven't received a pardon for" box and the employer finds out later that the opposite is true, no matter how long you have worked, the company will fire you for lying on your application.

    Even if you have never committed a crime, a company will fire if they find out 10 years later that you lied on your resume about your education and/or experience.

  • I don't have a problem with prisoners being educated while in jail. They are getting an opportunity that they would never had received otherwise.

    How much does it cost to house repeat offenders vs those who are educated on the inside and don't return? But, we have to ensure that these newly educated prisoners get jobs so they don't feel that it was a waste of time and return to a life of crime.

  • Anyone heard of Marco Rubio's scheme for students to fund their tuition by selling shares of their future income to private investors?

  • Screw those drug offending, unproductive, peasants. Plus TYT is funny thinking placing druggies and thugs in a dull room with a boring teacher talking about things they do not care about is going to enlighten them to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.. These people are unreliable, inconsistent screw ups who kept making the wrong decisions regardless of the hundreds of warnings. All those informative lessons in school on how doing drugs is hazardous to your health and can ruin your whole life and they do it anyway. We don't need those kind of people in our lives or neighborhoods, especially in the work force. If anything we should do what France does with their criminals, send them to the army so at least they can die with some dignity. We do not need them, we only find petty emotional excuses like "they're human beings", "we would be no better than they are", "it could happen to anyone" or "everyone deserves to be privileged and respected by everyone". I'm tired of it.

  • I'm all for helping prisoners get their GED, because high school education is free. Unless they make college free for everyone, then no way they should give prisoners free college education.

  • Sure, let them get a GED. But free college education? No. I work hard to be able to pay for college and I still come up short, and need to take out student loans. It's not fair that I follow the law, work, study, pay my bills, pay my taxes, take care of my family, and get NO FREE EDUCATION. But criminals do? Makes it seem like you are rewarding them with the stupid excuse of "rehabilitation"

  • It's too much to ask Americans to think about rational social policy.  The result is invariably a bunch of selfish, reflexive responses.  Yes, damn the direct benefit to society, yes damn the indirect benefits to me, somebody's getting something that they need that I didn't get (because I needed it less) so no. The question is whether our society is better off if prisoners get Pell grants, not whether prisoners deserve them.

  • Yes it will help them a lot more inmates have enough problems looking for jobs I thought the hole idea was that once they get out of prison they paid their due but

  • It seems to me that this is only an issue because people not in prison get such a crappy deal in the US with respect to the price of education.
    If you made up your mind that one function of imprisonment should be to rehabilitate people then whether or not prisoners deserve free education is not really a question.

  • -Hey sir. When you were in prison, what did you major in?
    – Liberal arts.
    -Oh. We ahhhh…. don't hire them either.

  • Most prisoners have little to no chance at a decent job because no employer wants someone with a criminal background so I don't know how college courses would help them. On top of that every decent job is in competition.

  • How about instead of giving them college courses in prison, we find a way to prevent them from going to jail in the first place.

  • Prevention is better than the cure. Use financial resources to better society on the out side world, provide people with opportunities and support. Give them every reason to want for a better life and show them that aid is there. To me, this is like providing a cancer patient with chemotherapy when they have a 2 weeks left to live when they had the chance to prevent it years before hand

  • I am drowning in student debt despite the GI Bill and the Pell grant. I still support free education for prisoners. Everyone needs a chance, even if the current system makes it unfair to me. I'm tired of the punish, punish, punish society. We punish everyone and even insist we punish ourselves to find "success." It's a sickness. It's okay to have fun and help others have fun. Honestly, it is.

  • Does anyone else think that's like applying a bandaid to a gaping wound? I can already see the following problems:
    1- Pell grants are so small that they don't really enable anyone who isn't getting other forms of assistance to go to college.
    2- College is already very expensive, and unless the amount of the grants increase this bill will be worth less than the paper it's printed on in a few years.
    3- Convicts who were well educated before conviction already have a lot of trouble finding jobs, especially white collar ones.
    4- We're probably going to lock these guys up again for life the second they smoke a joint, or for some other asinine reason.

    In short, I'm all for rehabilitation, but this is more of a sop than a solution.

  • I think the sums are way too small to get a decent education in a reasonable time frame. It's generally the christian right who jump on news like this with their punitive attitudes. They claim they want to fight crime, but when using these measures that are really effective in stopping young people from going into a prison-cycle, they're against it. They don't give a shit about lowering crime rates by rehabilitating inmates, they just want to punish people as hard as they legally can.

  • How about we worry about our law abiding citizens first. I've seen interviews with people who have had a loved one brutally murdered and I highly doubt that they want their tax dollars going to the person who took their loved one from them. How about we put more money into education and opportunities for those who have never been to prison and maybe prevent them from ever getting locked up in the first place and then worry about the prisoners.

  • Deserve? The only thing relevant to me (luckily my society as well) is what reduced crime. Education obviously creates opportunities for the criminal, reducing the risk he will create new victims. I fail to see the discussion.

  • I love the argument against this is poor kids can't get it cause education while prisoners can get a college education is our society that f*** up where are being in prison is actually better then not being president

  • make education free or really cheap, otherwise its pretty offensive that because someone obeys the law they get charged ridiculous amounts of money while a convicted felon gets a free ride. you think there's a rape problem on campus's now, just wait until its filled with a majority of ex cons.

  • but even if you are a regular student and you have a drug charge you can't get financial aid so why should a prisoner be able to

  • I'd rather prisoners come out on a life track towards being a good citizen. I DON'T want the prisoner coming out on a life track as a more hardened criminal and learning bad criminal habit from other prisoners. Give them a chance to be a good citizen and possible early release if s/he can prove a move towards good citizenry and keep the ones who refuse help in prison because they will just come out with a higher chance of becoming a repeat offender than the ones who have worked towards a good path on life.

  • I agree that we should give it to them i just hope that it means ADDING more grants for them rather than taking them from hard working students because both groups NEED them

  • I know it's a step towards universal post secondary education, but that said, is it not more efficient to spend it on people outside of prison who cannot go to college first?

  • I have an idea, on job applications it should ask HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF A VIOLENT OFFENSE, Instead of the usual have you ever been convicted of a felony bs. And YES ANA I think this is a BRILLIANT IDEA! And would solve a LOT OF problems. STOP BEING A SNOBBY BRAT!Just because you came from a well off family and didn't qualify for grants DOSNT mean everyone else should be denied grants!

  • There are plenty of ex-cons in the work force; especially when the economy is doing well. If you want to give them a quality education so they can get something a little more prestigious, I will support that. Absolutely.

    If you are concerned because the crime they committed was something violent, well then take the proper precautions.

  • you want less people re arrested? here we go rehabilitating the people we have forgotten. get them ready for the real world and its not like they have anything better to do. you cant go wrong with education.

  • I have a conviction for having some pot plants in my closet. I applied to community college and they denied me. I went there and confronted them on it, and asked them why they denied me for a pot conviction while at the same time they currently had people attending college there via a halfway house program for people getting out of prison for violent offenses. Some of them murder.

    They had no answer for me other than to kick me off the campus.

  • Just end the fucking drug war already! We'd practically get to a utopia just from that alone. And even lots of liberitarian type of Republicans agree with that.

  • Ana just pointed out one of the big differences between a liberal and a conservative. The conservative goes was his first gut reaction where a liberal goes into greater depth and considers a question from other points of view.

  • The only answer to the title`s question is: If anyone WANTS an education, it MUST be given. Who would turn down a curious mind?

  • I'm all for educating prisoners but there are going to be some people against it because every one who gets a job is taking that job away from a white man and every ten who are not re-incarcerated are taking a job from a white prison guard.

  • I am an RN who has worked in the penitentiary system's medical department for several years. Our correctional facility offers a GED programme to our inmates, should they have the desire for self-improvement (and are not on in-house disciplinary status). Some inmates do not wish to improve their minds because of various reasons: cultural stigma against trying to "act better" than their cohorts and/or ethnic group; having a "what's the point?" mentality, if the inmate is serving a long sentence; and outright indifference.

    I always encourage and applaud the inmates, male and female, who show an interest and personal drive to complete their education. Even the inmates who are serving a multi-decade sentence receive encouragement from me, because not only will they find deeper meaning and enjoyment in the books available to borrow, but it gives them a sense of personal accomplishment and pride that radiates from within them in their demeanour, diminished feelings of anger, and carriage.

  • I believe in generating as much happiness as possible. Once someone is safely tucked away from society in prison, why should you deny them any happiness they might achieve in there? How does a prisoner suffering help society in any way? I mean, for victims it might give them a slight jolt of satisfaction to know that the person who wronged them is suffering. But A: this is an unhealthy mentality that should not be encouraged, as it takes power away from you and puts it into the hands of a person who wronged you. B: for every little bit of happiness you feel, the prisoner is feeling a thousand times more unhappiness that could easily be fixed.

  • I think they should be offered some educational classes. It is part of correcting the mind. Whether or not it counts as college credit is a completely different and should be an unrelated issue. Also put them to work cleaning up the highways, or doing something constructive for once.

  • Don't give them higher educations. Give them specific job training. Most college classes have no influence on worker productivity, and if they really want to learn something, they're more than welcome to request a book or use the internet. Nothing can be learned in a school that can't be learned alone, except maybe how to play in a band. There aren't enough jobs for college grads, but trade skills are in higher demand. Teach them a trade skill – preferable one that doesn't give them access to too dangerous of tools… Also, college would require access to lots and lots of education staff. Having a few trade professionals available would be more convenient. Also, their stats are not relevant, as they confuse causing and correlation – a childish mistake. Maybe education doesn't decrease repeat offense. People who wanted to learn were less likely to repeat offend in the first place.

  • Deffinitely, htough I'm with mouthpiece 200. Specific job training would be more helpful than a college dregree. Especially with private prisons and cops arresting people just to make their quota regardless of someone's innocenc or guilt, this is a nescesity. It would be better if there would be an investment in the schools of those bad neighbourhoods so they can get an education in the first place of course.

  • …you should have free public schools to begin with and maybe you wouldnt be voting someone like Trump next year… 😐

  • On the fasfa there is actually a question asking if you have been convicted of a drug offense… wtf? people mess up. We are all human.. It doesn't ask if you are a sexual predator but asks if you have been convicted of a drug crime??? WHAT DO YOU MEAN????

  • Very informative discussion. "For it is possible so to train the individual that, although crime may not be completely done away with, still it will become very rare." – Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i Faith Writings

  • It's not just providing education. It's also imbuing a sense that they can do something different, that they don't have to resort to criminal activities to make money, that they actually have some sort of life that they can be proud of. The lack in self-confidence for inmates is profound, and just giving them the opportunity to succeed in something can make all the difference.

    I've been an educator at a state prison for the last 14 years, and I've personally seen the positive difference it makes. My goal is to give them the skills and knowledge they can use to never come back to prison once released.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *