Incarcerated adults with low skills

Periodical
COABE Journal
Volume
8
Year
2019
Issue number
1
Page range
14-24
Access date
December 16, 2020
Relates to study/studies
PIAAC

Incarcerated adults with low skills

Findings from the 2014 PIAAC Prison Study. COABE Journal, Prison Literacy Special Edition

Abstract

Incarcerated men and women in state and federal prisons face multiple educational and economic challenges. Disabilities and health concerns of incarcerated adults exceed that of the general population. Despite widespread availability of correctional education programs in prisons, only a small proportion of prisoners complete them. Employing quantitative data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Prison Study (2014), this paper investigates the characteristics and assessed skill levels of incarcerated adults with less than high school education attainment. It considers how characteristics and assessed skill levels differ from the general population, as well as the role of current learning in the lives of incarcerated adults with low skills. Findings include educational and health vulnerabilities that may be heightened when formerly incarcerated adults re-enter already-stressed, impoverished communities. Adults in correctional education programs cite future jobs after release and gaining knowledge as reasons to attend education programs. Even so, the proportion of adults completing these programs and gaining credentials is even lower than earlier research reported