The role of post-secondary education among ex-inmates living crime-free.

  Post-secondary education is claimed to have long-term life benefits for all individuals. However, little is known in terms of how post-secondary education assists ex-inmates to live crime-free. The aim of the present study was to explore how post-secondary education independently and directly came to assist ex-inmates to live crime-free. Participants (n=20) in the study were male ex-inmates living crime-free. Comprehensive education-related information in terms of school experiences, learning trajectories and educational history/background was collected for each of the participants. The study found that participants (20%) who continued post-secondary post-prison education (i.e. independent of prison education programs) not only remained crime-free but had a positive pathway post-release. Gaining post-secondary qualifications appeared to position ex-inmates in a socially cultured academic environment away from anti-social and negative at-risk communities directly assisting them to live crime-free. Consequently post-secondary education appears to reposition ex-inmates into a crime-free post-prison pathway. Hence, prison education (i.e. education programs delivered in prison) for inmates should be organized and/or facilitated toward post-secondary education with a multifaceted lifelong learning pathways.