Image Source: Pixabay

Prison inmates have a right to get formal or informal education to fit into society upon release, cater to themselves, and make an honest living. Prison education has various categories. It can be vocational or literacy development, arts and crafts training, physical education, sports or rehabilitation, and reclamation training. Some inmates go as far as pursuing a high school degree and even a bachelor’s degree. There are provisions made by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to ensure that these prison education options are conducted onsite at both state and federal prison facilities. This article will discuss 5 Best Ways Prisoners Can Get Educated.

For prisoners hoping to obtain bachelor’s degrees, online courses from approved universities are made available to them, and there are education programs available through the mail. Programs for prisoners to learn a trade may not be available. However, some prisons may offer options for prisoners to learn electrician and plumbing skills. The options available via the Federal Bureau of Prisons will be available for the entirety of their duration. A prisoner who is not able to get their degree before release can continue their course after release. They must fulfill all requirements to obtain their degree.


These educational opportunities by the government provide evident benefits by opening access to useful training and education degrees. This education can turn into amplified earning possibilities, potential work opportunities, and plummeting penchants for recidivism. Prisoners who receive a high school diploma are least likely to revert to felonious conduct and re-imprisonment. The reason is that learning and degree accomplishment can help reduce the psychological effect of the prison environment.

Image Source: Pixabay

Five Ways To Get Prison Education


1.   Literacy Development: Prisons offer literacy development for prisoners. This option involves teaching the prisoners skills on how to read and write. Literacy skills include but are not limited to spelling, reading, comprehension, sound, etc. This option is the most basic form of education, and it is available to prisoners who are stark illiterate and have never received any form of education in their life. Prisoners who are not stark illiterates may apply for this form of learning to begin and enhance their knowledge.



2.  Vocational Development: Unfortunately, most prisoners will not have the opportunity to get a white-collar job after release from prison and may need to get blue-collar jobs to cater to their needs. Vocational training development comes in handy for them at this point, as it involves training prisoners to develop skills that one can earn. Some of these skills include carpentry, automotive repair, cosmetology, design, cooking, auto mechanics, business education, masonry, plumbing, dressmaking, photography, etc.

3.   Arts and Crafts Training: This option is a great educational opportunity for prisoners. Creating arts and crafts is an easy and great job for released prisoners, and it adds fun to people’s daily lives. There are various arts and crafts skills open to be learned by prisoners. They include painting, knitting, candle making, soap making, etc. They can also teach these skills to other people.



4.    Physical Education and Sports: For some prisoners, their interests may lie in physical education and sports activities. These options may not seem like a form of education that will help them obtain money and help their life. However, they may bring fulfillment and fun. The idea behind physical education is to promote fitness, teach body management skills and help to develop sportsmanship, cooperation, and teamwork, among other advantages.


5.      Rehabilitation and Reclamation Training: Offering rehabilitation to prisoners has various benefits for the prisoner and the public. There are several forms of rehabilitation and reclamation training available to prisoners, and they include employment, education, wellness, community, and (substance abuse) counseling.

Image Source: Pixabay

With underemployment rehabilitation, prisoners can engage in work programs available in prison. This option helps them to get work once they are released. Education rehabilitation involves helping prisoners get a sense of the latest programs in the world. It may include computer training or getting a degree, as mentioned above. Wellness rehabilitation is the act of helping prisoners get a physical and mental understanding and clarity regarding their purpose in life after release from prison. This type of reclamation training helps the prisoner to move past any pain, guilt, or trauma. They may see that there is a bright future for them.


Community rehabilitation helps prisoners to be integrated back into the community and adjust to the latest happenings. Some prisoners have been in prison for many years. Over the years, new trends, laws, and rules have come into play. This situation is where community rehabilitation comes into focus. Having a support system can help ex-convicts. These groups could be in the form of volunteers, churches, social groups, and others. Finally, we have counseling rehabilitation. This option is like wellness rehabilitation as it feeds and educates the mind. Prisoners can talk about issues bordering on depression, stress, goals, new skills, etc.  

Benefits of Prison Education

1.   Recidivism Reduction: Studies show that there are high levels of recidivism among ex-convicts. However, there has been a decline in recidivism for prisoners who obtained some form of education while in prison. Research shows that the higher the degree, the lower the level of recidivism.



2.  Employment Opportunities: There are increased and improved employment opportunities available for formerly incarcerated people who engage in prison education programs. Obtaining gainful employment is far smoother and more successful for people that get an education in prison.


3.      Internal Benefits: Even for prisoners who serve lengthy or life sentences, prison education can have profound or life-changing benefits. There is a substantial reduction in violence and disciplinary infractions among those involved in prison education. Prison education can break down ethnic and racial barriers, which often cause rifts and tension in prisons. It can improve communication between staff members and prisoners, as well as improve their self-esteem.


4.  Community Benefits: Studies show that prison education has many positive effects on the children and relatives of ex-convicts, as well as offers an opportunity to break the generational cycle of crime and imprisonment. The education received goes a long way in influencing young children.

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay


Education and training for prisoners are vital for their well-being in prison and after any release. Prisoners can obtain education via programs and by mail. There are various types of education and training that prisoners may receive, including electrical, plumbing, and college degrees.


There are also many benefits from prisoners receiving education in prison. They include employment, community, and internal interests that help prisoners gain employment, network within communities, and improve their relations between staff and other inmates. Prison education can help prisoners to learn to take care of themselves and their families, boost their confidence and self-esteem, and reduce their recidivism after any release.




Northwestern University (2021). Northwestern Prison Education Program:

Benefits of Prison Education.


For more information on prisoners and education, click the links, below:

(Disclaimer: Affiliate Advertising. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)

Curious Convict's Guide to Prisoner Education (2020-2021): The ONLY Annually Updated Prisoner Education Guide Paperback – November 2, 2019 By Curious Convict

Cellpreneur: The Millionaire Prisoner’s Guidebook Paperback – May 18, 2017 By Josh Kruger

The Millionaire Prisoner: Part 2 Paperback – October 29, 2020 By Mike Enemigo (Author), Josh Kruger (Author)

College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons By Christopher Zoukis