Inmate Education is the Key to Reducing Recidivism Rates Nationwide and Worth the Investment
By: Dr. Turner Nashe, Jr., Senior Vice President of Education Services at GTL
April 16, 2018
RESTON, Va., – (PR Newswire) Prison reform discussions include many topics, but one of the key components centers around lowering recidivism rates and the question of whether education and rehabilitation programs really have a positive impact on inmates. Studies have repeatedly shown that increasing education initiatives within prisons leads to lower recidivism rates, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. The RAND Corporation found that for every dollar spent on education, between four and five dollars are saved because of lower re-incarceration costs.
A National Institute of Justice study reported that more than 67% of released prisoners are rearrested within three years of their release. The cycle of arrest, incarceration, and release is very costly for the taxpayer. Fortunately, there are solutions for providing inmate education and reducing re-incarceration costs.
GTL is changing the face of corrections through education. Learn how innovative new technology can be utilized to save the taxpayers while simultaneously helping those who were incarcerated to gain life skills necessary to gain meaningful employment to reduce their chances of returning to jail.
GTL’s inmate tablet technology has stood out as a leading solution for increasing rehabilitation and security and reducing recidivism rates nationwide. Tablets provide educational tools to inmates in a more efficient, effective, and secure manner. GTL’s Inspire inmate tablets provide a learning management system, over 165 thousand pieces of educational content, educational videos, access to a law library, eBooks, and much more. When used in tandem with programs at the state and local level, tablets can make a real difference in inmates’ lives.
For example, Idaho state lawmakers passed the Justice Reinvestment Act in 2014, which invested money into rehabilitation programs for inmates instead of building new prisons. The Free2Succeed program was also implemented, pairing newly released parolees with community mentors who offered support and guidance. When the program began, the recidivism rate for prisoners was 35%. In 2017, the state found that the recidivism rate for inmates matched with a mentor was about 4%. This proves that education and rehabilitation programs work—and they work well.
Simply put, the cost of education and rehabilitation programs is far less than the cost of imprisoning inmates. While these initiatives mean investing in inmates, giving inmate the knowledge and tools to become motivated members of society in their lives outside of a correctional facility’s walls pays back several times over. It’s a situation that benefits everyone and an investment worth making.
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.