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NCJ Number: 170824 Find in a Library
Title: Political Processes in Prison Education: A History
Journal: Journal of Correctional Education  Volume:48  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1997)  Pages:136-141
Author(s): H S Davidson
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 6
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper explores the subtle, multidimensional aspects of political influence in inmate education by focusing on the political processes in New York that shaped the introduction of the Mutual Welfare League in 1913.
Abstract: The Mutual Welfare Leagues were established in prisons throughout the northeastern States from 1895 to the mid-1920's as a form of prisoner self-government. The Leagues proved to be effective as a form of prison management and citizenship education. The influence of political processes on the League have been selected because of its founder's (Thomas Osborne) formidable political activity and skills. This discussion is limited to examining how politics affected the introduction of this reform. Attention is given to the social and economic conditions of the period that affected the political climate. The Leagues were part of a wider self-government movement promoted for schools, factories, and prisons. This movement arose as a liberal democratic response to prevent the growth of socialist and autocratic solutions to the social unrest of the time. This paper shows how these forces affected New York politics and how this effect influenced the implementation of a notable event in the history of the self-government movement: the inception of the first Mutual Welfare League. Conclusions from this study note the indifference politicians can show to the merits of a particular reform, the conflicts that can emerge between reformers as a consequence of political struggles, and how the distinction between reformer and politician can blur when a reformer engages in political activities in order to initiate a reform. 4 notes and 34 references
Main Term(s): History of corrections
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Inmate Education Assistance Programs; New York; Political influences
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