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How Can Teaching Writing Be Used As A Method Of Rehabilitating Young Offenders?

1401 words - 6 pages

The evidence to support writing as a valuable teaching tool is always increasing, Creative Writing courses are rising in popularity at the Undergraduate and Post Graduate level and a justified conclusion for the reason of this could be the growing use of writing being used as part of the curriculum at school level. A focus on creative arts such as writing in education has been noted as ‘stimulating student’s curiosity, encouraging originality of thought, fostering peer relations and overall increasing student’s engagement.’ The skills that we focus on in Teaching Writing to students are not only necessary to the classroom, but are valuable tools for functioning in society: freedom of expression, self awareness, self editing, group engagement, as well as nurturing literacy skills. As teachers are responsibility is not to only educate students on a subject, but to help them become well rounded individuals within society, ‘We live in a literate world, in a society that values reading and writing. Consequently a great deal of emphasis is placed on becoming competent in these areas’ . The value of preparing an individual for society as part of education is as significant to school students as it is to those within the judicial system, therefore education should be valued as our highest tool for rehabilitating criminals. As writing embodies many of the skills aforementioned, it raises the question of whether Teaching Writing can have the potential to promote correctional goals of restorative process?
Education courses in prison have been proven to cut reoffending rates by up to 8%’ , they allow inmates to use their prison time productively, gain a chance at education that many inmates have not receive before and potentially gain the skills necessary to have a career outside of crime after leaving prison . With the reoffending rate for juvenile offenders reaching as high as 70% , it reveals the vulnerability of these young people and the crucial importance of using early intervention of education and the arts to empower young inmates to make a difference to their futures. As the ‘Write to Freedom’ study has shown evidence of, ‘prisoners show high engagement when they understand that you are offering them a chance’ . At least a third of young people emerge from school branded as failures, often leading them to in turn rejecting the norms of society and turning towards criminal activity . By offering them a second chance at an education we are rehabilitating their self worth, a vital step in achieving overall rehabilitation into society. When an individual wants to learn they deserve to be regarded as students, regardless of their circumstance . Students within the prison system deserve to be treated with the same respect as anyone learning within the education system, however, this does not mean disregarding their circumstance entirely as this is highly significant to achieving a student centred approach in lesson planning. Young offenders need to...

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