The issue of prison inmates being allowed to take college classes has over the years sparked a lot of controversy. In this report it the benefits that can be accrued from allowing prisoners to take college classes will be detailed and a conclusion drawn from the discussion.

These benefits include the fact that that access to education is a human right that everybody is subject to irrespective of their current social situation.

Providing inmates with education opportunities will also serve to reinforce the notion that prisons are intended for character reform and not punishment aside from providing proper time usage. Certificates earned are also important in the inmates’ life after prison. This essay seeks to illustrate that college classes for inmates are extremely beneficial and that they should definitely be allowed.


Human rights as stated by conventions by the United Nations convention for human rights (UNCHR) cover each and every individual regardless of their situation. Prisoners are no different and as such are subject to the clause that allows all persons the freedom to access and gain knowledge should they develop the interest. Therefore denying prisoners the chance to take college classes is basically a breach of one of their basic human rights.

Prisons are generally seen as punishment to law breakers by the state. However, a deeper look into the concept behind imprisonment reveals that prisons are meant to reform the characters of offenders so that they can be better individuals once they are released back to the public.

This in essence means that whilst imprisonment may legally deny an individual the right to freedom, the time that the person spends in jail can be well used to reform the character of the individual as well as give him life skills that will keep him/her away from the world of crime once they are released.

Once individuals are released from prison, they are expected to continue with their lives as usual. This basically entails getting jobs and picking up from where they left when they were arrested. A college certification will increase the chances for any individual to secure meaningful employment.

College classes can also serve to increase an individual’s creativity to the extent that if they cannot get jobs on account of their criminal records, they can start successful businesses. It is not uncommon for persons to publish best-seller books while in prison and for others to come out as powerful motivation speakers.

When an individual is imprisoned for a number of years, this can be seen as time wasted. However, because a person’s commitments are reduced as his/her daily needs are taken care of by the state. The individual can therefore choose to use this time meaningfully, so that by the time he/she lives prison he can count that as a time-out taken to gain certification.

In this regard, the time that individuals spend taking college classes while in prison is therefore generally time well spent and this will reflect well on their personal growth as they will channel thoughts of revenge to their books.

Individuals who gain college certification while in prison can come out to secure decent jobs and start earning better livelihoods away from crime. This can have a positive effect in society in general since their former colleagues in criminal activities may end up gaining the motivation to earn academic certifications and totally abandon acts of crime.

Some individuals have gained theological degrees while in prison and they emerge as powerful preachers and counselors. Such individuals once released the first place they are expected to carry out their practice is in their former criminal world. It is much easier for a reformed gang member to convince other gang members to move over to clean livelihoods.


In conclusion, it is worth noting that prison should not only be regarded as a way for punishing errant individuals. It should rather be seen as a method for betterment of a person to such an extent that after prison he/she can proceed to lead a clean life.

Other benefits that can accrue from providing inmates with chances for college education include the fact that it will be a show of unequivocal respect for all human rights aside from reformed inmates serving as change models for other criminals in society.

This essay has demonstrated that attending college classes while in prison is beneficial to the development of the person as a whole and these classes should therefore be encouraged.