Prisoner to Lawyer, Wayward to Welder: Tanzanian Prison Education through the Lens of ‘Perspective Transformation.
Keywords:Transformation, Perspective Transformation, Prison Education, Lifelong Learning, Adult Education
AbstractThis qualitative case study discusses the contribution of prison education on prisoners’ rehabilitation through a change of frames of references. The study addresses one key research question: Does prison education in Tanzania contribute to prisoners’ perspective transformation? In this study, one lens through which I view prison education is that of perspective transformation, which enables individuals to critically reflect upon and change their previous frames of references for the better. This article draws ideas from Mezirow’s ‘perspective transformation’ and discusses the connections between prison education and rehabilitation of prisoners. A snowball technique helped to locate two ex-prisoners who attended prison education, and they were individually interviewed. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. This study indicates that the two ex-prisoners had undergone a perspective transformation. Hence, it could be argued that prison education can transform prisoners. From this perspective, the study calls for prisons to expand educational access to prisoners.