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Disciplinary Problems Among Inmate College Students

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 51 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1987) Pages: 42-48
G C Kiser
Date Published
7 pages
The author describes disciplinary problems encountered while teaching a college course in constitutional law to 20 inmates at Illinois' Pontiac Correctional Center.
Less serious problems included inmates' failure to respond to rollcall, insisting that their names on the class roll were inaccurate, and refusing to wait their turn when answering questions or when examinations were returned. More serious problems included inmates' wandering in and out of class at will, failure to report promptly to class, and talking in class. These problems were disruptive, exemplified a poor academic attitude, and resulted in students learning less. Two solutions were found to these problems: the introduction of more frequent recesses during each class, and enlisting the cooperation of the inmate who had been leading the disruptions. Comparisons of this class with two others with few disciplinary problems suggests that the instructor's newness to the facility, prison traditions, and unrealistic disciplinary goals may have contributed to the problems. 8 references.