Enhancing Female Prisoners’ Access to Education
The rate of female incarceration continues to surge, resulting in over 714,000 women currently being held behind bars worldwide. Females generally enter carceral facilities with low educational profiles, and educational programming inside is rarely a high priority. Access to education is a proven contributor to women’s social and economic empowerment and can minimise some of the obstacles they encounter after being released from custody. Support for the intellectual potential of incarcerated female ‘students’ can address intersecting inequalities that impede access to social protection, public services and sustainable infrastructure. Policymakers, academics and activists concerned with gender equality must begin by focusing on academic and vocational program development for female prisoners, built through strong community partnerships, and inclusive of trauma informed supports.
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