Why Character Education in Prison?

    The reason for being sent to prison is a lack of moral competence, in other words because of a character flaw.

    When prison is punitive, it does not address this issue, nor improve the character of inmates.

    Even if prison is merely a holding tank, there is no improvement of character.

    For prisons to be effective, they must focus on building moral competence, and teaching right from wrong. Something as basic as respect for the property of others may be totally missing from the knowledge and understanding of some inmates. They may have a minimal sense of right and wrong, due to the mixed messages in our culture. They may be weak in problem solving, resorting to physical violence as the only means they know of that is at their disposal.

    There are areas of character education that address needs of inmates: Anger management, Problem solving, Planning, Self control, Community-building and Service (see Workshops).

    Inmates who have learned new behavior skills, and spent their time wisely in improving their character, are ready to be released into the community, and to become productive members of society.

    The Character Development Foundation has worked with inmates at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women as well as the Youth Development Center in developing three courses in Character Education, and publishing manuals for each.

    The first is an intensive five-hour course taught on three consecutive days.

    The second is a nine-hour course taught once a week for six weeks, 90 minutes each class.

    The third is a tutorial one-on-one, once a week for an hour, for six weeks.

    To receive training in this program click here.

    To have a consultant help implement the program, click here.

    To learn more about the workbooks, click here.

    To see a Lesson Plan, click here.

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