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NCJ Number: 229371 
Title: Thinking Inside the Box: Prisoner Education, Learning Identities, and the Possibilities for Change (From How Offenders Transform Their Lives, 87-103, 2009, Bonita M. Veysey, Johnna Christian, et al. eds., - See NCJ-229365)
Author(s): Emma Hughes
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines the role that education in prison can play in helping prisoners to develop new identities and new self-perspectives, which is often centered around the notion of being a 'student'.
Abstract: Distance learning as a mode of study in prison allows for more advanced-level study and greater variety of courses than is typically available through a prison education department. Many distance learners refer to wanting to use their new-found skills and knowledge to give back to their community after release and this is often coupled with taking responsibility for their former actions. Prisons therefore need to seek to encourage and/or recognize, rather than discourage, the development of such positive identities. This chapter focuses on the perspectives of distance learners, which offer an opportunity to view the unique issue and experiences that such students encounter and the implications for their sense of identity. It is the student's own perspectives on their identities that form the basis for what is presented in this chapter. The students describe these shifts and changes in their self-perceptions as positive and leading to a greater degree of autonomy in their lives. The research consisted of 76 prison-based distance learners completing short-answer questionnaires about their current and previous educational experiences; 47 of the respondents then participated in individual semistructured interviews. Notes and references
Main Term(s): Inmate academic education
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Crime prediction; Inmate attitudes; Inmate Education Assistance Programs; Inmate release plans; Inmates; Offenders college-credit-programs; Perception; Post-release programs; Recidivism; Recidivism prediction; Rehabilitation; Social reintegration
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