Should prisoners be allowed access to online education at community colleges?
Distance education for prisoners is a good solution for instructional problems that were noted among prisoners. Lack of education would mean lack of the basic skills to create a better life and find a better paying job. Lack of education would mean lack of information and understanding about economics, business structure and social or community life. Failure to understand the environment will most likely result to challenge behavior. And that challenge behavior will grow to worst if one’s situation won’t change from worst to better in a given time. Access to education is very important to prisoners provided that the kind of subjects or coursework they are allowed to take will be limited and subject to higher approval.
Attitudes may change for the better but there is a big possibility that some prisoners may proved to be real problematic that a monitored coursework is better so access to education materials and information may also be limited and does not put the society or the police force at risk. It is advisable that a series of psychological test will be performed to the prisoners in order to assess and determine their potential and their ability to handle intellectual programs like distance learning. Internet access must also be limited to the sessions and all the homework will be done at the library of the correctional facility. Proper monitoring eliminates any potential risk in the system.
Although there are a lot of learning and training programs provided by community colleges, prisoners access and allowed opportunities must be limited and carefully studied. The offender’s attitude can be determined on how they take the distance education delivery system. This formal education will make them earn a degree while in prison. What is important is that they get out of prison with a diploma (Wilson & Ruess 173) and is ready to face the challenges of the labor market. Lower educational level does not compel these people to commit crime but it is indeed a great factor that influenced the person’s decision making process.
I firmly believed that prisoners are victims of their own environment and experiences. People and environment interaction have the ability to make and unmake people. Education will attempt to enhance basic skills and their ability to learn and assess certain situations that may be good or detrimental to their being and the well being of their community. Know that a person of limited options has much to tackle within himself in terms of self confidence or low regard to self, frustrations to alleviate life and the absence of voice in society. A person who does not understand the pathology of addiction and experience what acceptance to society and good life is will never grasp the meaning of being good to live a good life. He does not have any idea of what a good life is. He was so used to being bad he does not even know the meaning of good.
Yes, for me prisoners need to be given the chance to access distance learning education in a limited coursework and selected programs that involves no risk at all. Police work or study of law is simply a no go or they may be able to study the system well. Prisons and correctional institutions should take advantage of technology to educate their prisoners. Technology has just given correctional institutions a very flexible and easier channel for the education of its prisoners. The only way to bring a nation down is to stop educating its people. The only way to improve the economy of a nation is to begin educating its people and giving them the skills needed and required by the labor workforce.
I am certain that education is not to be regarded as their second chance. Education is to be regarded as the responsibility of the state and the community to help the person obtain the basic skills for survival and obtain comprehensive knowledge that will make him understand life, society and morality. The No Child Left Behind Act was very effective.
Well then let us consider those who were already an adult when the Act was initiated. We are not to leave behind any member of the community. We are not to disregard their needs and discriminate them because of their challenge behaviors. They are a challenge to the state and to the society. And the only way I find that will bridge the gap of talking between an uneducated man and a moron is education. It helps sharpen the intellect to understand policies, law and their moral obligation to safeguard the well being of other people.
We eliminate an enemy of the state by providing a structured online education. Structured is not brainwashing, structured means appropriateness of the courses that they are allowed to avail. Prisoners of higher age who are not adept to technology may be taught on how to make wise investments online. The process may be simpler and they only have to study the market fluctuations. Teach them to be entrepreneurs and keep them busy with school work. The key is teaching them to adapt the new lifestyle behind bars.
Education is an opportunity for change not only for the prisoners themselves but for the state. This way the state will be able to increase the population of its professionals even behind bars. Society is not to condemn prisoners but they are to help them out of compassion. Negative reactions would mean no acceptance and outright denial of their ability to seek for a better life. Negative reactions solicit rebellion and feeling of abandonment which will result to commission of more crimes. I certainly agree that the only way to eliminate crime is to educate the person committing the crime.
Works Cited Page
Wilson, David and Ruess, Anne. Prison(er) education: Stories of change and transformation.
Winchester, UK: Waterside Press, 2000.