Basic Education in Prisons by UNESCO. Institute for Education

By UNESCO. Institute for Education

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Providers of education for offenders tend to focus on basic skills and ability to m a n a g e relationships as being vital prerequisites for any job-specific training, frequently using vocational or self-employment interests as a vehicle for progress in basic skill areas ([189], p. 5 ) . Given that literacy is part of a package of basic education and other counselling and rehabilitative services, and in the context of the need for learners to provide their o w n motivation, informal interviews, in consequence, are an appropriate adjunct to, or replacement for, standardized literacy tests.

T h e principle behind this system is that the acquisition of vocational skills is the best preparation for release, as is m a d e clear by Uche [254], but it can be argued that here, too, the interests of the institution-are served by the w o r k done. Moreover, according to U c h e , selfe m p l o y m e n t is the only w a y to earn a living on release, since the Government is the largest employer and prohibits ex-offenders from government service. Countries that formerly had centrally planned socialist economies necessarily took a very different view.

4 per cent were sentenced to three years or more ([142], p. 73). In Dutch prisons, however, as in Finland, the length of stay is as a rule even shorter: 8 0 per cent serve less than six m o n t h s , 1 0 per cent from six to twelve months, and only 1 0 per cent are sentenced to a year or more ([39], p. 5). The length of stay in prison has a significant bearing on education. In s o m e systems, education is only available within a given period before release. Elsewhere, it m a y be impossible for prisoners to complete a course, either because they are discharged or because they are transferred from one institution to another with no chance of continuity.

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