Vocational Education

Vocational education is education and training to prepare individuals for work. Most incarcerated offenders will reenter society. Employment and education are considered important protective factors in reentry, as they are often associated with decreased criminal behavior. Therefore, vocational education is an important component for public safety. This entry provides the history of vocational education for offenders, provides a definition of terms, discusses the vocational needs of offenders, discusses effectiveness and costs of vocational education, and concludes with proposed areas of further development.


The idea of educating offenders is not new and, according to the Correctional Education Association, has existed in the United States even as early as the 1700s. However, providing education for inmates has sometimes been a controversial issue. In the late 20th century, ...

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