Though prisoners are criminals and may deserve punishment, they should be treated as human beings and educate them, in order to give them a chance to change and be useful for society in the future. Education is a human right, though it could be pricey.
Many prisoners are very eager to learn and were just never given the opportunity. According to Hughes (2012), “Education in prison can help some individuals overcome perceived barriers, economic or otherwise, which prevented them from deciding to continue their education prior to prison.” (p. 26) Therefore, if prisoners decide to take the opportunity towards education they are less likely to miss that chance once taken.
In addition, there is a positive response if they are treated with respect and dignity if the opportunity to education is given, they will treat others equally. Everyone is equal, even if prisoners are viewed differently, they deserve the right to learn. According to Hughes (2012), “The students frequently refer to education as giving them a sense of purpose whilst they are in prison.” (p. 86). Therefore if prisoners have a purpose, they would not have the need to misbehave, in contrast they could focus that energy into something that is interesting to them. Hughes (2012) found “Not only does education provide an antidote to boredom, but it also encourages the active engagement and stimulation of the mind.” (p. 87)
Then, if prisoners are held away from the real world for years they may still not know how to function in a society once they are released. As a consequence, this may lead them to a life of crime once again. So, after they serve their prison term and are released they need the right skills to fit in society the right way, and education is the answer. Hughes’ (2012) study found the following:
Concern for the future was the most commonly reported motivation by the students for undertaking education in prison. However, in helping students to prepare for the future, education also assists students to cope with their present circumstances and has consequences for how students make use of their time. In general, students describe gaining a clearer focus and more direction as a result of their studies. (p. 90
Because entering prison involves many complex changes, these educational programs also help improve their habits and further become a better person. Then, life in prison could get more easy-going and as a result, these prisoners will make better choices in the future and when they get released.
In other words, prison education could save millions of dollars by preventing someone from getting