Corrections and Education

Courtesy of TheSocietyPages

Corrections and education are undoubtedly connected. They play a role in the likelihood of entering and re-entering the system. Here are some national and Florida facts about the correlation.


  • On average, a Florida inmate’s probability of re-offending drops by 2.9% for each higher grade of adult basic education tested.
  • Inmates who earn a GED are 8.7% less likely to recidivate than those who do not complete a GED program.
  • Inmates who receive a GED and improve their TABE score to 9th grade level or higher are 25% less likely to recidivate than those who receive a GED and have a TABE level of 8th grade or less.
  • Of the 32,304 inmates admitted into the Florida prison system in fiscal year 2004-2005, approximately 70% were assessed as having less than functional literacy skills (less than a 9th grade level) and 42% were classified as having only basic literacy skills (1st– 5th grade levels)
  • A higher percentage of prison inmates than adults living in households have Below Basic quantitative literacy (39 percent compared with 21 percent).
  • The average reading level of prison inmates is very low: below the 5th grade in one study and below the 8th grade in another study.
  • About 67% of prison inmates cannot write a brief letter explaining a billing error, read a map, or understand a bus schedule.
  • 9% of all prisoners with low literacy skills receive literacy training while in prison.
  • 49% of adults who have not been in prison education programs are re-incarcerated.
  • If the male high school graduation rate were increased by just 5%, annual crime-related savings to the nation would be approximately $5 billion dollars. The benefits would vary from state to state: South Dakota (at the low end) would save $1.6 million, Oklahoma (near the middle) would save $63 million, and California (at the high end) would save almost $675 million.—Saving Futures, Saving Dollars
  • Nationwide, three-quarters of state prison inmates are drop-outs, as are 59% of federal inmates. Drop-outs are 3.5x more likely than high school graduates to be incarcerated in their lifetime. African Americans are disproportionately incarcerated. Of all African American male drop-outs in their early 30’s, 52% have been imprisoned. 90% of the 11,000 youth in adult detention facilities have less than a 9th grade education.—Every Nine  Seconds in America a Student Becomes a Dropout


Literacy and Corrections- FLC
Florida Department of Corrections 
National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003
Oklahoma Literacy Resource Office 


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