Attention getter: “We must accept the reality that to confine offenders behind walls without trying to change them is an expensive folly with short-term benefits—winning battles while losing the war.” These words were spoken more than thirty years ago by Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, and they support my argument today that prisoners should have access to education.
Introduction of topic: While we value education as an important part of our society, we do not value it equally for all. Many people don’t believe that prisoners should have access to an education, but I believe they do.
Credibility and relevance: While researching this topic, my eyes were opened up to how much an education can truly affect a prisoner, and given my desire to be a teacher, I am invested in preserving the right to learn for everyone, even if they are behind bars. While I know from our audience analysis activity that some of you do not agree with me, you never know when this issue may hit close to home. Someday, someone you love might make a mistake in their life and end up in prison, and while they are there I know you all would want them to receive an education so that when they get out, they will be better prepared to make a contribution to society.
Preview: Today, I invite you listen with an open mind as I discuss the need for prisoner education, a curriculum that will satisfy that need, and some benefits of prisoner education.
Transition: First I’ll explain why prisoners need access to education.