Implementing Postsecondary Academic Programs in State Prisons: Challenges and Opportunities

Meyer, Stephen J.; Fredericks, Linda; Borden, Cindy M.; Richardson, Penny L.
June 2010
Journal of Correctional Education;Jun2010, Vol. 61 Issue 2, p148
Academic Journal
Participation in postsecondary programs in correctional settings is low, despite evidence of positive outcomes and national emphasis on postsecondary education to meet labor market demands. Research related to implementation of correctional education programs has focused on adult basic and secondary education programs while less is known about implementation of postsecondary programs. This article reports data from the first year of a 3-year national study examining the implementation and impact of a postsecondary academic program for youth offenders in state prisons. Information from student surveys; interviews and focus groups with students, administrators, and instructional staff and classroom observations in five states during the 2008-2009 academic year is used to examine various aspects related to the implementation of postsecondary program in prisons, including program content, instructional delivery, and instructional resources and supports. Perceptions of program benefits, implementation challenges, and suggestions for improvement are also presented. Findings are discussed along with factors that should be considered for successful implementation of postsecondary programs in prison.


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