Say Yes to Education, Say No to Incarceration

By Dominique Carson. Dominique is a massage therapy student and journalist from Brooklyn, New York, US. Please read her entry and leave your thoughts and comments below.

“He opens a school door, closes a prison.”- Victor Hugo

Albert Einstein’s quote, “Education is not learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think,” is so insightful because the world’s greatest scientist and mathematician expressed a strategic message that exemplifies the importance of obtaining information. He wanted to make sure students can understand what they’re reading and writing when they’re in the classroom. Intellectual stability is introduced once parents give birth but we must figure out how we should perceive information. In other words, learning should be ongoing when class is dismissed. Once people complete at least their secondary education, they should still develop a sense of inquisitiveness and have a thirst for knowledge.

Education is an important tool that can change the world in the most profound way. It leaves a positive mark in people’s lives and it’s a field of study that pertains to teaching and learning. Once an individual develops gratification from learning, they’re investing in knowledge and expanding their mind. However, learning requires extensive effort and one should establish a technique for study or a course of action to become an effective and avid novice. Education teaches us how to think critically because we’re analyzing and applying information that we can utilize in our everyday life. As a result, it becomes a guide that can improve reasoning but it requires effort and communication and problem-solving skills. Yes, it’s in our nature to think but critical thinking allows us to deliberate with clarity and precision.

Nonetheless, education is an empowering and motivational implement that can change people’s thoughts, minds, perceptions, and attitudes about life. It’s also a booster for young people who don’t quite understand the significance of receiving an education. Even though some individuals do not appreciate the benefits of education, it is still a crucial component in life. Education can alleviate adversity in people’s lives and it takes us one step closer to longevity.

In addition, education is a sanctuary and it’s introduced in the school building. School is supposed to be an establishment that creates building tablets for students. Students will study several subjects and interpersonal skills with their classmates and educators. School is imperative because students can present their educational tools in life situations and launch approachability to new ideas.

Education is a dominant work of art that allow students to expand their knowledge and understanding. But, sometimes students can be blindsided by some of the most demoralizing events that takes place in society. Students can stray away from school and partake in criminal activity. Criminal activities can not only harm an individual but themselves, community, state, and law. Crimes are usually punishable by law despite their psychological and physiological reasons of committing a crime.

In previous years, historians discovered three models of criminal behavior: sociological, psychological, and biological. The psychological approach is presented when there are dysfunctional processes in their deportment. The cause of abnormal behavior is inappropriate teaching and role models. Deviant behavior is discovered at school or at home but, without proper counsel, it can further their efforts to proceed with the streets.

There are several reasons why people proceed with crime such as poverty, parental neglect, low self-esteem, mental illness, deaths, and substance abuse. Socially, people demonstrate criminal behavior because they’re not connected to society. Criminality is presented when a person feels like a failure or can’t comprehend the societal norm. Lastly, there is an error in the biological approach of criminal behavior due to genetics, neurotransmitter dysfunction, and abnormalities in the brain.

Therefore, they have a greater chance of being handcuffed due to their personal circumstances they’ve endured in their life. More than likely, an individual will commit a crime because they feel trapped by a situation. They are imprisoned by a circumstance in their life.

When someone participates in street life, it leads to jail, a lawful custody. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the crime, individuals can also go to prison. Prison is a depriving place or state of confinement for criminals. Prison is a “punishment,” for folks and it’s the result for people who break the law.  Once a person is convicted, they are categorized as the disorderly crowd and the lowest class of people. The offensive people have adopted the “prisoner identity,” and associate themselves with conflict in society. The offender group displays the pivotal role of jail in the community and the structure in the jailhouse.

The School-to-Prison Pipeline is also a complex that prompts people to disenroll themselves from academic institutions. The system begins in preschool because future criminals make up nearly 50 percent of in-house suspensions. As a result, students’ disruptive behavior can lead to harsher punishments and diminish their chances of receiving an education and attending college. Overall, the Pipeline limits students’ opportunities because they’re under educating themselves and falling into the traps of mass incarceration.

In conclusion, to keep the prison door closed, individuals should look beyond their detrimental circumstances or environmental factors. We need to provide more recreational opportunities for youth to reduce crime. The schools need to help students overcome negative influences that have been emulated in their personalities.

Moreover, people should relaunch their own reality, have positive role models, and change harsh conditions in their communities. Older adults and the elderly should continue to inform the youth about harming the community so they can bring new meaning into their lives.

To prevent further damage in their lives, we can formulate the five-step reconciliation process. The process initiates recognition, responsibility, reconstruction, reconciliation, and redemption. Before people spiral down the wrong path, they must be in the state of consciousness and accountability should be in the forefront. I believe if the 5 R’s are prominent in society, we can lessen the problems in crime.

33 comments on “Say Yes to Education, Say No to Incarceration

    • Uriah Brown on

      Education as we know it in America is not the answer to the success of our children. The harsh reality is that the public school conditions our black and brown children to think white and reject everything about their own culture. Our children are not acting out more than their white counterparts, that perception is one that has been created by a white supremacist educational system. The same system where 93 percent of public school teachers are white, and do not understand the cultures of the very students they are “teaching”. Our students are not leaving the classroom because they have behaviorial issues, they are leaving because those teaching them do not represent their values, nor look like them. They are leaving because they are targeted by white teachers who see them as thugs. They are leaving because all they learn is white history and it creates a physiological strain in their minds that instills the thought that their race has nothing to offer. This leads to more black and brown students dropping out of school turning to the street and ending up in jail. The schools are the primary instruments used in creating the foundation for incarcerating our youths.

  1. Autumn on

    This article was very insightful. Education is such an important tool to have. Keeping your head in the books helps keep you on the right track and out the streets.

  2. Niani on

    I agree that the lack of positive role models, lack of programs for recreation and learning, and lack of mental health assistance, can have the youth turning to criminal activity, and education can definitely be a saving grace. No matter what class, color, ethnicity, or gender, education is something that can never be stripped from individuals Education creates a better self, and should be a lifelong journey. Great article!

    • Terry Norfleet on

      This ia a great article. I agree that education is an important tool that could produce greatness, especially when given the proper essentials during early development.

  3. Man Up! Inc on

    The article was enlightening and inspirational. As a social justice organization, we encourage our young people to stay in school and expand their minds. In today’s society, it’s crucial to receive an education to prevent jail time. We want our youth to be more productive.

  4. Minyarn Johnson on

    This article speaks volumes having education is essential, having knowledge of ones self worth will open doors that lead to success.

  5. Eric Smokes on

    A very insightful descriptive view of education and the possible perilous path of incarceration when positive education and self worth is missing and/or not heeded. Continue on your journey to inspire and motivate the zeal for educational principles that guided your life in a prosperous and fulfilling way

  6. Jon McLeod on

    This article was articulate, informative and inspirational. It urges you to learn and push beyond the perceived mental limitations. It also forces you to take a hard look at your actions and hold yourself accountable. Something a lot of people need to hear, read and see often.

  7. Jermaine Peebles on

    We need more schools than jails, because without education they will be no end to violence. So this means more jails. Lets stand for all not for one.

  8. Taisha Smith on

    With education, it brings knowledge and with knowledge comes power. We must continue to educate our youth to prevent them from making a regretful decision in life. Great article!

  9. Carlene Braithwsite on

    I have come to believe that educating our minds so that we become critical thinkers is absolutely essential for us to to navigate a clear path through this life. This article in a succinct and insightful way makes that point.

    Thank you!

  10. Samson Styles on

    This article was well written and reinforces the power of education. I like how the author concluded with accountability being the force that decreases the education to prison pipeline. But the system benefits too much from the prison system population. That is why you have many states that are guaranteeing private prisons an occupancy rate. In these prisons you have a manufacturing plant of various items being produce for pennies. It’s a modern day slave camp. Also the counties where these prisons are are mainly in rural white areas and are often the main commodity. Those Rural areas where these prisons are also known for counting the prisoners on their census to get additional State and Federal funding to these areas. This article is definitely a conversation starter.

  11. Ron on

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. How are supposed to grow as a community when values are being shifted towards incarcerating more people rather then personally developing them. Knowledge can be power when properly used & are efforts must be honed into developing & focusing more on like minded people so we can enjoy a life of both internal & mental freedom.

  12. Ellen Asregadoo on

    This article “hits the nail on the head!” It’s shows the important role school plays in society. Often in many places, schools have become the sanctuary for many children. It’s the only place where children can trust, feel safe, learn, and have a meal. There has to be a stronger bond between the home and school. Parents have to be held accountable and have to continue the learning that has begun in schools. Children must be valued! It’s the only way that they can overcome the challenges and succeed!

  13. Lorenzo Dozier on

    This was a fantastic piece of work. Education is the key to success and an importance in our lives. We should always be informed, welcoming knowledge and continuing to educate ourselves.

  14. Rukiya Goddard on

    I agree with the author. Education and developmental resources are extremely valuable to ones success. If the school to prison agenda continues it will do worse for society and communities than providing resources that help students find positive outlets.

    Very informative article, worth the read!

  15. Ron on

    Yes, this has to be conveyed to teachers, parents and anyone else who cares about the sad state so many young people are in in New York City. Education, yes, is a key, but as you were suggesting, role modeling for younger ones is also so important. People, especially those teetering on the edge of dispair or even just pessimism, need to know those around them are concerned. Keep shining the light, as with this article

  16. Shem Dixon on

    This article really hit home because yes education is important but when you’re dealing with issues in these communities where we are already labeled to be failures its easy to adapt to the negatives. We do need more positive role models in these schools, need more teachers from the community who can relate to the children, also more community centers and activities to keep the children involved so they don’t have to get caught up in that hole of failure.

  17. Brotha Kevin on

    The article was definitely informative. There should be more discussions about education and prison. Education is an essential tool to have one to critically think. On the other hand, “prisons are being utilized to genocide people of color.” Instead of building prisons, there should be more schools being built because education is the key to success.

  18. Raheem Grant on

    Sister, Dom… You hit it right on the needle with this article. The 5 R’s is the most important information that was needed to be shared and i appreciate that you brought it to light in this article. Beautifully written!

  19. Dr. Gene Desepoli on

    What a well-written and informative article. I have always felt that society plays a part in a person’s success or lack thereof. Education is critical. As an added point, I read this a while ago, “If private prisons make their profit from criminal society, its goes against business sense to reduce criminality.”


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