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Distance Learning in Incarcerated Populations

Distance Learning in Incarcerated Populations
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Author(s): Christine Bagwell (University of California, San Diego, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch099

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Abstract

The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that as of June 30, 2006, there are 1.6 million people serving sentences in state and federal facilities. This number does not include the roughly 600,000 additional inmates housed in local jails (AP, 2007). Inmate populations have been increasing in almost all states, with high numbers of recidivists. “The criminal justice system has frequently been referred to as a “revolving door” where offenders are released, only to be returned over and over again to incarceration” (Daniel, 2003, p. 3). While many educators focus on bridging the digital divide for rural and disadvantaged students, few focus on a much more isolated population: those in the prison system. Research shows that educating incarcerated populations lowers recidivism rates at substantial savings to state taxpayers. Just as the advent of the Web has revolutionized education’s reach, instructional Web technologies have the power to extend into the most dangerous and neglected schoolrooms in our country: America’s prisons.

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