Books are necessary for education

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Educational programs in today's prisons are inadequate to say the least. Over the years, funding for prison educational programs has been put to pay for housing, feeding, and the basic needs of the ever-increasing inmate population.

Gone are the days of college education for inmates through federal Pell Grants. With few exceptions, only the most basic educational opportunities are available, and even then they are not available to the entire inmate population. Therefore, inmates who desire to improve themselves through education have to take matters into their own hands, and books are as necessary to this process as liquid is to quenching a thirst.


The word "autodidact" refers to someone who is self-educated. I learned this from a dictionary that was donated to me by the Prison Book Program. The dictionary is an essential tool in the job of self-education. While many prison commissaries offer a dictionary for sale to inmates, these overpriced "pocket" dictionaries are little more than a list of the most commonly used words and are of minimal use to anyone trying to improve themselves through education.
[Books] keep my mind open. Please support the Prison Book Program!

-Submitted by Jeffrey Watson
State Correctional Institution at Dallas, Pennsylvania

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