The Ethical Aspect of Providing Education in Prisons
For many people, ethics has come to mean the definition of specific behaviors as being wrong or right within the society. It is the way people live their own lives, but mostly it is about the way individuals interact with each other. In this manner, everyone in the society is individually concerned with ethical issues surrounding any human population (Kant, 2007).
However, certain unique circumstances faced by prisoners require particular ethical attention. In other words, prisoners face numerous circumstances of ethical concern that should be given particular attention by the public to exhibit moral responsibility. The society has a moral obligation of ensuring that the correctional institutions meet ethical standards that are meant to have positive behavioral outcome from the prisoners. As Singer (2008) puts it, if the society has the power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, then we are morally obligated to do it. From this point, every individual in the society has the moral responsibility of ensuring that the conditions and circumstances in the prisons meet ethical standards.
By without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, Singer (2008) means without causing anything of comparable negativity to happen or fail to promote some moral good. However, Singer also points out that this practice by the society requires us only to prevent what we perceive as bad, and not to promote what is good, and it only requires this only when the member of the society can do it without sacrificing anything that is of comparable importance (Singer, 2008).
One of the most crucial ways of demonstrating ethical responsibility to prisoners is by offering them helpful educational programs that are meant to positively improve their lives. In this line, this paper, narrows at the moral responsibility of providing education in correctional institutions. In this manner, it examines the government’s ethical role of facilitating the provision of education at the correctional institutions in the United States society. From this point, this paper draws the argument that the provision of education in prisons goes a long way in the positive development of the prisoners and in preparing them for the society once they are released. To emphasize on the ethical responsibility of providing education in prisons, this paper analyzes the economic feasibility of the prison educational programs; and the importance of providing the education to both individual prisoners and the society. It also examines the challenges commonly faced by the correctional institutions in the attempt to provide education in prisons.
There are over two million people in prisons and other correctional institutions in the United States. Most of these people have little or no higher vocational or other advanced education. A large minority of these people face challenges in writing, reading and numeracy and in conducting social transactions (Bhatti, 2010). These situations affect the lives of the prisoners in various ways, especially after their release from the …