Pedagogy for the Oppressed: A Preliminary Study of Education Programs for Incarcerated Youth


The United States prison system has become a hot topic for politicians, intellectuals, activists, and the everyday voter. Most questions regarding the penal system focus on the debate between rehabilitation and punishment, the death penalty, or the incarceration of young children in adult jails. An examination of the system leads us to question, however, the role played by prison through educating the youth in custody. In state mandates, penal institutions are required to provide free education for all youth until the age of 18. What is the nature of this education? What sort of pedagogy is used within prisons? What oversight exists?

Combining interviews with scholars, incarcerated juveniles, and teachers at prison schools with analyses in the literature surrounding pedagogy and punishment, the current work presents a case for the existence of a pedagogy for the oppressed; one that systematically tracks and targets low-income minorities for blue collar labor or as future wards of the state. The result is not only an articulated criticism of the system and the deeply political nature of education but equally a call to arms to educators.


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Education | Juvenile Law | Social Welfare Law

This document is currently not available here.