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Frontier College meets Community Justice Society.

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1 Frontier College meets Community Justice Society

2 If You Can Read This... : Linking Literacy, Crime, Health, and Injury Among Children and Youth 5 th Atlantic Summer Institute on Healthy and Safe Communities [August 28, 2008] Robert S. Wright, MSW, RSW Executive Director, Child and Youth Strategy Nova Scotia




6 If you can read this You can read

7 If you can read this (likely) Your parents could read

8 If you can read this (likely) You’re not poor

9 If you can read this (likely) You’re healthy

10 If you can read this (likely) You haven’t suffered a TBI

11 If you can read this (likely) You’re not in jail

12  Education is noted as a social determinant of health, but population links difficult to access  Prison populations generally have lower educational attainment than gen. pop. (51% hsc vs. 76% hsc – Hendricks, Hendricks & Kauffman, 2001)  Education attainment among offenders correlates to less functional literacy than in gen. pop.

13  CSC Study in 1992 reviewed the literature on ABE and recidivism (Porpino & Robinson, 1992)  Of 7 studies reviewed 4 indicated a link between BEP and reduced recidivism (all 3 of the most rigorous studies showed a positive effect)  Their own study showed strong link

14 Figure 2 - Readmission Rates of ABE Participants* * p <.001

15  Recidivism inversely related to education (reductions of 20% are suggested)  Post-release employment positively related to education participation and achievement

16  Literacy/education attainment not related to severity of crimes at admission  Education effect on recidivism highest among lowest educated inmates (adult and juvenile) (Isom, 2005)

17  Literacy/education crime link highest among persons whose criminal behaviour is related to “lack of opportunity” (those who suffer from conradblackitis unlikely to benefit from education)  Link is likely complex intersection of family literacy, social, self-efficacy and other literacy correlates

18  Juvenile and young adult offenders likely to receive short sentences and little correctional education programming  Juvenile offenders often have fragile attachment to PSP  PSP demands distract from functional literacy imperative

19  Illiteracy is a complex social problem both in cause and effect  A complex constellation of various developmental, personal, familial, neighbourhood, community, social and political factors must serendipitously come together to create the conditions that result in literacy skills

20  New models of collaboration among government and community stakeholders must be developed to ensure (not promote) a literate populace  Focus on high risk and at-risk populations a great place to start – such as youth under some form of correctional intervention


22  A bumper sticker campaign won’t get us there

23 Frontier College meets Community Justice Society

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