Creating Better Opportunities by Investing in Inmate Education

Creating Better Opportunities by Investing in Inmate Education
By: Dr. Turner Nashe, Jr., Senior Vice President of Education Services at GTL

May 16, 2018

RESTON, Va., – (PR Newswire) It is well-known that the U.S. has high incarceration rates compared to other nations. But what is lesser-known is just how high the recidivism rate is compared to other developed countries. In the U.S., 76.6% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years. In Norway, by contrast, the recidivism rate is 20%. New prison reform programs and initiatives are focusing on ways to lower the recidivism rate, including using education and rehabilitation programs to help inmates re-integrate into society once released.

The majority of individuals who enter prison will be released. Yet little has been done to ensure they are ready to survive and thrive in the outside world.

GTL- How Educating Inmates Can Stop the Revolving Door of Prisons: The impact of education can put inmates on a path towards a better, more productive life. See what former inmates and corrections educators say about the importance of providing educational programs to inmates.

Research shows that 70–85% of prisoners return to prison because of two reasons – lack of education and lack of vocational skills. Educational programs provide opportunities for inmates to create new paths after incarceration, re-establish themselves in society, and find success on the outside. Such programs are key in making sure inmates can support themselves, and, in turn, give back to the community.

GTL’s Rehabilitative Education solutions are provided to inmates during incarceration through a Learning Management System that supplies credentialed education content on personal tablets. The tablets are used by inmates to take courses, complete degrees, and finish certifications. The goal is to provide inmates the ability to function better once released, get a good job, and stay out of prison. The numbers support this initiative. Education drastically reduces the likelihood that inmates will reoffend after being released and return to prison. The recidivism rate for inmates with a bachelor’s degree, for example, drops to 5.6%.

Inmate education and rehabilitation is becoming more and more a part of public conversation and even legislative action. The Prison Reform and Redemption Act is an example of legislation that is attempting to help the transition from prison to freedom by offering educational support, vocational skills development, substance abuse rehabilitation, mental health care, and other programs.

Education and other self-improvement programs in prisons allow inmates to learn valuable skills so they can become productive members of society once released. Anything that can be done to help advance that goal is well worth the effort.

Dr. Turner Nashe, Jr. is an entrepreneur, inventor, innovator, and recognized leader in building technology that facilitates delivery of educational and entertainment content to security sensitive industries such as correctional facilities, hospitals, and schools. His inventions have created innovative solutions for emerging eco-systems that are revolutionizing traditional approaches to the delivery of educational content within secure facilities. Dr. Nashe holds an Ed.D. in Administration and Supervision from Tennessee State University and a B.S. in Psychology from John Carroll University.

Press Contact:
Vinnie Mascarenhas
703-955-3894
[email protected]

May 16, 2018 / Blog

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Creating Better Opportunities by Investing in Inmate Education

In the push to reduce the recidivism rate, correctional facilities are moving away from a traditional layout to one that is designed for inclusiveness and keeping inmates engaged with outside society. Studies have shown that maintaining a support structure is a key component to keeping inmates on the right path to successful reintegration into society after release. In Australia, a new maximum security prison opened this year that includes no cells. Instead, inmates are housed in dormitory-style accommodations with 25 inmates in 16 ‘pods’ that offer more access to education, entertainment, and communication with friends and families. This novel move seeks to enhance inmates’ daily lives by making these services more accessible and improve re-integration into society. Inmates have access to technology that connects them with friends and family members, news, books, movies, education, games, and more. They are required to work for up to five hours during the day and pursue education and other programs in the remaining time. This progressive approach aligns with GTL’s vision of technology and education being available to every inmate. “GTL has the technology portfolio to enable correctional facilities to execute their strategies,” said Gad Tobaly, President, GTL International. “Whether those strategies are similar to the open-plan jail approach or focus on a more traditional environment, we offer the innovations to help facilities become safer and more secure while providing inmates with access to programs that improve their lives during and after incarceration.” GTL creates new technologies and advocates for tablets, education, and other programs to help reduce recidivism rates. “These new facilities highlight the need for technology in corrections,” said Eric Gonzalez, Executive Director, Technology and Implementation Services. “Today’s inmates are digital natives, having grown up in the age of computers, cell phones, tablets, and more. It is only logical that providing them with technology and programs to learn and better themselves through those access points is the direction that corrections is taking.” As part of GTL’s ongoing mission to keep our offerings in line with global corrections trends, the company will once again be a sponsor at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) Annual Conference. This year’s conference is being held at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain in Montreal, Canada. The conference theme of “Beyond Prisons: The Way Forward” will draw discussion on the underpinning philosophies, strategic direction, policies, and practices being instituted across the globe. More than 500 delegates from over 70 countries attend this prestigious conference. GTL and two collaborating organizations will present on two topics that relate to the use of technology in aiding the corrections and criminal justice systems. “Transforming the Inmate Environment: How and Why Facilities are Implementing Tablet Programs” will discuss how technology is used to humanize correctional efforts and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. “Virtual-Enabled Justice: Delivering Swifter Outcomes and Improved Victim and Witness Experience” will discuss the use of technology to create ‘virtual courts’ that fuel efficiency, safety, and security, and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 3:30 p.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. To learn more about our technology solutions, contact GTL today.