Student perceptions of prison education programs : a case study of Stony Mountain Penitentiary
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Prison education programs exist in Federal and Provincial correctional institutions across Canada. These programs are administered and provided by co-ordinators, trained teachers, volunteers and peer-tutors (other inmates). Previous studies of prison education rely heavily on data from those who administer and provide the programs, and little or no attempt is made to involve the students. The purpose of this study was to explore the relevance of prison education from the inmate-students' perspective. An attempt is made to determine how human agency is manifested in the context of education programs in the correctional setting. The role of human agency is explored in this study by focusing on the thoughts, perceptions and involvement of inmates with their prison education program. Cultural resistance theories provide a conceptual framework for this exploration because of the attention they give to the individual. The findings of this study show clearly that, even within a controlling environment, individuals work to achieve important personal goals.