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What if prison was college?

From Jeff Smith's talk it's very obvious that a lot of criminals are very intelligent, even without formal school. In fact one study (1) shows that 1 in 10 high school drop outs end up in jail. Prison is just a waiting game, inmates do not have many amenities, but what they do have is time. In very simple terms the proposal is every inmate is required to be enrolled in the prison's education system. While at this prison inmates must stay in good academic standing and are rewarded for good grades. Failing grades will result in discharge to another prison. After graduation terms of release can be discussed.

What do you think the rate would be for repeat offenses after release?
Is cost the biggest problem with this proposal?

1.) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/education/09dropout.html?_r=0


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    Feb 11 2013: I know many young people earn their high school diplomas while incarcerated. Do you know how many earn a college degree of some kind there?
    • Feb 12 2013: A total of 9,900 incarcerated students earned certificates in 2009-10, while 2,200 earned associate degrees, and 400 earned bachelor's degrees, the survey found.


      I would like to find statistics on repeat offensives from both college graduates and GED/Diploma graduates. I'll have to dig around more to find the data.

      The United States has over 2 million inmates in prison. 10,000 graduates is .5% of all inmates.
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        Feb 12 2013: I don't know what your broader interests are, but a few months ago I read a book you might really find worthwhile called, I think, Real Notebooks. It was about a writing class offered by the author at a juvenile detention center in, I think, Los Angeles.

        It shows some of the boys writing, thinking, the role the class played for the students, what changed, and what didn't.

        They were almost all in for murder.

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