Home > The prison adult literacy survey results and implications.

Morgan, Mark and Kett, Mary (2002) The prison adult literacy survey results and implications. Dublin: Irish Prison Service.

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This study examines the literacy levels among the prison population in Ireland. The survey, which was funded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, was carried out in Irish prisons in May 2001, using materials based on the International Adult Literacy Survey which had been used in a study of the general population of Ireland and other countries beginning in 1995.

The Prison Adult Literacy Survey had a number of aims. Firstly, from the perspective of the Prison Education Service, there was a need to know how prisoners compared with the general population with regard to literacy skills. The need for this information has become more urgent in the context of the Government's White Paper on Adult Education and the top priority that report affords to adult literacy, since more accurate statistics are crucial in planning the most appropriate kind of courses for prisoners. A second aim of the study was to examine the extent to which literacy problems, and factors associated with such problems, might be associated with the development of anti-social behaviours that result in people eventually serving prison sentences. With this in mind information was sought on the nature of the offences for which respondents had been sentenced. A third aim of the study was to extend the research base and knowledge regarding the prison population, in line with earlier studies of background characteristics

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