Education in Prison: Reward or Necessary?

There are two different sides to the “should we educate prisoners” coin. One side says no we shouldn’t reward them with educations, while the other says yes we should. Here are the reasoning behind both.
The nay-sayers, which in my estimation are mainly lawmakers and yuppies, say that prison is a place of punishment. It’s our “time-out” place where we go to think about our past mistakes. Effective…for a few minutes. Put your kid in the corner for five minutes and that works…try it again for a few days and seewhat happens to him…not a good idea folks! IN fact, that’s called abuse.
So the basic idea is that we should come here and have no rights, eat slop and sty in our houses and not socialize and not have friends or family visits and blah blah blah. Be extremely restricted to basically deter the next generation. Lock us up forever! I get it. 
On the other side, we have those who say that educating is the smart thing to do for everyone. Here is why:
USA spends $80 billion on incarceration. Each inmate costs $60,000 annually to house. Washington state’s recidivism rate is 34%. That means that for every 1000 inmates that get let out every year, 340 of them aregoing to create another victim within their first 36 months. Now, it costs $5,000 to educate an inmate on average. Studies show that educated inmates have recidivism rates of 5%. That means that for every 1000 of us that are released, 50 of us will create another victim. What seems better to you: 340 or 50 victims?
Still think that you should lock us up and throw away the key? Still think that an “iron fist” is the way to go? Do you know who else thinks that way? Hitler did…so does the Taliban and other extremist groups. They are generally referred to as vicious and brutal. Yet that is the thought process of many lawmakers who want to lock everyone up and never have to deal with them again. But when it’s a person in authority who is modern and American, it’s the right thing to do. When it’s overseas its extremism and brutal??? WHAT!
No! Here is the deal folks, one day we are going to be out there, amongst you. Shopping side by side with you, driving on the freeway with you, our children going to school with yours and ordering the same food at the same restaurants and interacting with you all. You better hope that we get fixed what needed to be fixed other wise inmates will retract to their original states of mind. Which is fear and hatred. Every person in the world has a vested interest in lowering our recidivism rates. Our time in prison is not easy, it’s psychologically straining and the corruption is hard to navigate. This is the only place in the USA that still promotes segregation. Whenever there is a problem with inmates, the first thing they do is segregate us? When the new staff arrives and gets a list of who is here they get 4 peices f “vital” information Our names, our DOC numbers, our housing assigments (what cell were in) and our race. That’s fact.
Even our school teachers and kitchen staff and employers here get that information. When Correctional Industries gets all the important information about us, that’s what they get. Our race? Why is that important in modern culture? You tell me?
If we are willing to get college educated and it lowers our recidivism rates by 29%, why wouldn’t you want that? We are human beings and will be out there. Not all of us are going to be monsters forever. We get second chances and when we are given them, we take them and flourish. I can prevent someone fom committing my crime again. Why wouldn’t you want that? One less victim in the world by me being educated is well worth it in my estimation.

With Love

Jeff Utnage