While Texas has long been recognized as “Tough Texas” when it comes to crime, recent efforts have been made to combat that reputation. Efforts such as offering “good time” credit and more liberal parole standards are used to reduce the Texas prison populations. Although effective in reducing prison populations, do these incentives truly reduce a larger issue of prison overpopulation: recidivism?
In both state and federal prison systems, inmate education is proven to reduce recidivism. Texas’s own, Windham School District, provides a broad spectrum of education to Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates; from General Education Development (GED) classes to English as a second language, they seem to cover it all for Texas inmates. In addition, there are national educational institutions that offer college courses to inmates specifically. Yet, there is a blaring issue: where are the legal education courses?
HELP “Helping Educate the Law to Prisoners” fills the void. Through a three-part curriculum, Texas inmates will be exposed to the legal system in an educational environment, rather than a punishment context; learn to remedy their past through available opportunities and perhaps legal action; and seize the future by knowing their rights.
June 17, 2019
The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice
Reforming Recidivism: Making Prison Practical Through HELP,
Available at: https://commons.stmarytx.edu/thescholar/vol21/iss1/3
St. Mary's University School of Law
Riley F. Tunnell
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