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Online Learning Becomes Court-Ordered Community Service 160

Posted by Soulskill
from the fighting-crime-with-knowledge dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo Finance reports that convicted criminal offenders can serve their court-ordered community service hours online by taking educational courses through Community Service Help. According to the article, there is a high correlation between criminal activity and lack of education. Who knew? 'About 40 percent of all U.S. prison inmates never finished high school, and nearly 44 percent of jail inmates did not complete high school. More current data shows that hasn't changed. In Washington, D.C., for instance, 44 percent of Department of Corrections inmates are not high school graduates. Less than 2 percent had 16 years or more of schooling.'"
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Online Learning Becomes Court-Ordered Community Service

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  • Re:Once again (Score:5, Informative)

    by bipbop (1144919) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @10:00AM (#39317603)
    Yes, only the smart criminals can work in banking!
  • Re:Once again (Score:5, Informative)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @10:28AM (#39317709) Homepage

    You raise, a good point. The evidence suggests that to some extent criminals lack of education is caused by other variables that lead to both to criminality and make completing school more difficult. In particular, criminals have on average lower intelligence, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201006/why-criminals-are-less-intelligent-non-criminals [psychologytoday.com] poor impulse control,http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=101809 [psychiatryonline.org] and extremely high self-esteem ,http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/papers/baumeistersmartboden1996%5B1%5D.pdf [emotionalcompetency.com], all of which are associated with doing poorly in school.

    However, there's also evidence that some amount of criminal behavior is due to lower education reducing work opportunities. The most successful programs at reducing recidivism are those which educate the convicts. https://www.stcloudstate.edu/continuingstudies/distance/documents/CollegeEducationandRecidivismEducatingCriminalsisMeritorious1997.pdf [stcloudstate.edu] although the exact causes of this are unclear http://www.bop.gov/news/research_projects/published_reports/recidivism/orepredprg.pdf [bop.gov]. So, while there is a correlation v. causation issue, it does look like education genuinely helps.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @10:30AM (#39317725) Journal

    Are we sure prison is more expensive? I see it as slave labour.

    Slaves are expensive. It costs something like $40k/year to incarcerate someone. If they're working the equivalent of a minimum wage job at the same time, then it's not really a good investment.

  • Re:Go to jail (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 11, 2012 @11:24AM (#39317981)

    Interesting that if you actually look at the site (Community Service Help), for a criminal to get involved in this "non-profit" organization, they need a credit card number and a Pay Pal account.

    The whole Community Service Help Website reads like a sleazy advertisement. Note the picture of the smiling, big breasted girl showing her cleavage right on the front page of this "charity".

    This whole business appears to be a Slash-vertisement. Couldn't Slashdot reference an academic journal instead of some sleaveball Website that seeks to profit off of vulnerable people?

    References:
    http://www.communityservicehelp.com/ [communityservicehelp.com]

  • Re:Go to jail (Score:5, Informative)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:42PM (#39318325) Journal
    Sadly profiting off of misery is a time honored tradition here in America, hell i wouldn't be surprised if over 75% of the "community service" forced upon people by the state didn't involve kickbacks or bribes. Its just slave labor, getting for free what one normally would have to pay for. Hell look at that judge that was sending kids to boot camp for any old reason he could think of because he was getting a kickback. in case you haven't noticed our courts have become just as corrupt as any banana republic, just sit in on some sessions and be prepared to be horrified. I have watched the rich walk away from some insanely long list of charges because his very expensive lawyer "had a quiet talk with the judge in the back" while some poor Rube with a $20 bag of weed got a year in prison. The only justice is what you can buy, no different than any South American hellhole we USED to make fun of. But power corrupts and money is power so now you have two systems, one for the rich, one for the poor.
  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @01:52PM (#39318671)

    Privatizing prisons is insane, it creates an incentive for throwing more people in jail..

    Those incentives exist with or without private prisons. Plenty of people profit from government run prisons. For instance, here in California, the prison guard unions spend huge amounts of money promoting tougher sentencing. This includes donations to politicians that vote for tougher laws, and financing the "Three Strikes" voter initiative. We have prisoners serving 25 years for stealing a pair of socks.

  • Re:Uhh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Xtifr (1323) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @06:02PM (#39320255) Homepage

    This begs the question

    No it doesn't.

    Yes it does. The fact that a stupid mistranslation of a latin phrase became generalized by the public doesn't mean that the generalization is any wronger than the original idiotic mistranslation. Either the phrase has no valid uses, or it has two.

    Furthermore, the standard claim that "raises the question" serves just as well is clearly false. An interesting scientific result may raise a question, but you will never see anyone, no matter how informally they're speaking, describe it as "begging a question". As used by normal English speakers, the phrase "begs the question" almost invariably describes human behavior and motives, and seems to have a strong correlation with places where the phrase "he's begging for it" could be used.

    Yes, the phrase certainly became popular in its common, standard form because of the idiotically mistranslated formal-logic term, but that doesn't make it "wrong" any more than bizarre formation misderived from technical (or not) terms. "Terrific" has other meanings than "causes terror", and "octopi" is accepted by dictionaries that never mention that the proper Greek plural would be "octopodes". English doesn't necessarily follow your narrow preconceptions. Get over it.

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