No Matter What the Future May Hold: Prisoners’ Rights to Learn

Authored by Kaitlen McPherson

While the confidentiality of College Guild Students is a priority, the way the program impacts them is important to share. Especially for those who have been sentenced to life and historically have been “given up on”. But College Guild is incredibly important to those who may have given up on themselves.

Criminal conviction affects the individual far past the surface level of physical incarceration. Qualitative interviews have shown that life in prison develops negative self-stigma. But higher education can counteract that and help develop a more positive sense of self (Evans, Douglas and Pelletier 2017, 260). The focus of most studies has been on using higher education to improve the mental health of prisoners, as well as make them less stigmatized once they re-enter society. 

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