Learning Behind the Bars: Implications for ‘Learning-for-Development’
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AbstractThis study aimed to determine the learning patterns and experiences of incarcerated adults within correctional settings and how their prison learning transforms their lives after they are released. In this qualitative research, semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain the opinions of eight formerly incarcerated people who experienced educational practices during their serving time in prison. The snowball sampling technique was used to reach the target group of the study. Thematic analysis method was used during the data analysis process. The results of the paper, which are limited to the opinions of the participants in the study, showed that the change in the educational level of the prison population had led to a transformation in group dynamics among inmates in Turkey. Although former inmates experienced a permanent transformation in their lives after attending literacy courses, they could not carry on their religious practices after being released due to the struggle to make a living. Inmates who were not interested in educational programmes within prison managed their own learning processes as self-directed learners. Moreover, although inmates are certified through vocational training programmes, they have challenges in finding jobs when they re-enter society. Educational disruptions due to Covid-19 demonstrate that it is urgent to transform the prison education system into a technologically enriched learning environment in Turkey.