Thursday, October 14, 2010

Answers cont...

Q6: If prisoners suddenly had access to all the educational resources they could ever need, what proportion do you think would make use of the opportunity? (Wigarse)

A: As a general proposition, prisoners attend Education for three reasons. It's a paying job, it gets us out of our cells, and the efforts demanded are of us are low compared to other prison jobs. Note that self-advancement isn't a feature on that list!

Education is something of a bug, either one catches it or not. It took me until my late teens to really crack some books. Some people never do. And prisoners are generally not drawn from the most scholarly class.

The present educational opportunities are very limited and what is offered has nothing to do with our desires and everything to do with the institution's agenda. Basic skills rule. Worse, education is the lowest paid position in any nick.

If, however, the curriculum were broadened to encompass opportunities that interested us, then I suspect that many more would take advantage of the opportunities.


  1. My friend has had many short spells in prison and paradoxically finds it is the only place where he gets the time and the space to read. Fortunately where he is there is an excellent library. We must never make assumptions about prisoners. My friend is an ex grammar school boy and care leaver, with a thirst for knowledge depsite his often chaotic lifestyle. Good luck with your studies Ben, we should encourage anyone in prison who wants to learn and study, it is vital for their self development and helps with self esteem and confidence.

  2. Fourth reason: Most people would rather learn skills they can use in the future than work in a sweat shop learning nothing.