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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 10 2013: I like this idea. But I think we need to redefine college. The whole semester, grades, credits might have to be critically looked at. You would have a captive cohort so leveraging the education to ways we know work with cohorts would be a good idea. Something like 6 hour days 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year in instruction. Maybe 3-4 week classes. That type of immersion works well with cohorts.

    But we should figure in trades also. stuff like culinary skills, carpentry, arts, entry level medical skills, vet techs. Those types of activity would have to be carefully monitored and selected for safety reasons. So I would suggest something like 3 hours of instruction with three hours of application per day. People with no purposeful work have esteem issues so I think there should be some type of skills involved.

    I know labor camps are frowned upon for good reason but inmates should be leveraged to help support themselves during their incarceration.

    This is such a better idea than what we currently do.
    • Feb 12 2013: I like the thought of changing how the educational system would need to work. I was originally thinking more "online" style where reading could be done alone in a cell thought I can see how classes and structure would be important.

      As far as activities, this could be saved for the senior year after all classroom work was completed.

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