commentary: ‘Doing time, with a degree to show for it’

This commentary from the Chronicle for Higher Education relates to our recent post about imprisonment. A few SRV points from the commentary:

• The importance of competency enhancement in supporting devalued and vulnerable individuals/groups in valued roles: specifically, the importance of making university-level education available to prisoners

• The potential benefits of helping those in prison acquire and maintain the valued role of college student

• The availability of the ‘good things of life’ which can derive from the acquisition and maintenance of the college student role for prisoners, including: a job (when released), liberty (possibility of early parole/release), the opportunity to contribute to their communities and families (to regain the valued roles of citizen, of father/mother)

• Image enhancement: note the reference to one of the ex-prisoners who had been in the college student role while in prison: he was described as well dressed and with a Bluetooth headset in his ear (sending messages of similarity to other busy professionals, of affluence, of busy-ness, of competence, and of enough income to buy an expensive piece of technology)

• Supporting prisoners in the college student role acknowledges the high rates of recidivism and consequently tries to prevent re-imprisonment through competency enhancement and education (cf. the conservatism corollary of SRV, which calls for prevention, reduction and compensation for heightened vulnerability)

• The importance of a societal level strategy consistent with SRV: the national availability of funds for university tuition through Pell grants helped make it possible for prisoners in the US to acquire the valued role of college student (cf. SRV encompasses action on multiple levels: individual, primary and secondary social systems, larger society)

Posted on December 2, 2010 at 8:48 am by MTumeinski · Permalink
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