With 2.3 million people incarcerated, the United States is one of the most highly concentrated prison systems in the world (Sawyer & Wagner, 2020). In order to be in a position to improve that, the system of incarceration needs to genuinely care and invest in the lives of the inmates living in these facilities. The opportunity to receive an education is one way that allows for true rehabilitation and often can give an inmate a greater sense of purpose. This paper examines current programs in California that allow inmates to work towards and/or receive a bachelor’s degree while serving their time, as well as the political policies that impact potential obtainment.
In order to improve these systems, we can utilize social constructionism to reframe the preconceived notions we have about the incarceration system and the people in it. Taking the time to understand not only these inmates’ drive but also their ability to make improvements in their life, regardless of their sentence, allows for people to help advocate for and work towards constantly improving these programs. Secondly, using open systems theory we can look at the impact these education programs have on many aspects of our society. Not only do these programs help reform the individuals directly associated with them, it promotes pursuing education for those surrounding them, helps keep the general public safe, and allow for additional funding to be allocated elsewhere. Opportunities for education while serving a prison sentence can transform an individual’s life, and employing these various forms of organizational theory can allow for the United States’ incarceration system to be active participants and change agents in that transformation.
"Utilizing Organizational Theory to Improve Education Opportunities in Correctional Facilities,"
The Scholarship Without Borders Journal: Vol. 1, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/swbj/vol1/iss1/5