• 74.6K
  •  
  •  
    74.6K
    Shares

This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of education in prison from the real IELTS exam.

To get complete access to all my IELTS PDFs and Ebooks, learn more about my Patreon here.

Or sign up for my online courses here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Education in Prison

Studies show that crime rates are lower among those with educational degrees. Therefore, the best way to reduce the crime rate is to educate criminals while they are still in prison.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Research has shown that educational level is a key determiner of potential criminal behaviour, leading many to suggest reorienting prisons to focus on helping inmates earn degrees. In my opinion, this approach would be ineffective relative to other measures.

Reformers point to the bulk of studies supporting this practice. The last 50 years have witnessed a growth in prison programs funded by federal governments and private activists aiding prisoners earning either a high school or university degree. Tracking those who are released with a degree compared to those without has shown a marked decrease in reoffenders among the former group. The reasons for this are self-evidently related to the better jobs available for individuals with diplomas. This tangible effect is heartening as prisons should ideally serve to rehabilitate convicts for civilian life and not simply punish them for past transgressions while limiting their future career options to more criminal activity.

However, the efficacy of prison education is limited compared to improved education for underprivileged segments of society. The research on education while incarcerated is dwarfed by studies on the primacy of education before the onset of criminal activity. A good example of this would be the persistently high crime rates among inner city youth who do not have access to good public schools. Those who fail to graduate from high school have drastically higher rates of later criminality ranging from burglary to robbery to violent crimes. If a student is supported in their studies, they have no need to turn to crime later in life to make ends meet. Once a convicted felon, even for the rare individuals who earn a degree, it is difficult to find good work later.

In conclusion, the unequivocal benefits of prison education reform do not justify its priority over more impactful educational measures. There should be a degree of balance but the most efficient solution should invariably receive the most resources.

Analysis

1. Research has shown that educational level is a key determiner of potential criminal behaviour, leading many to suggest reorienting prisons to focus on helping inmates earn degrees. 2. In my opinion, this approach would be ineffective relative to other measures.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Reformers point to the bulk of studies supporting this practice. 2. The last 50 years have witnessed a growth in prison programs funded by federal governments and private activists aiding prisoners earning either a high school or university degree. 3. Tracking those who are released with a degree compared to those without has shown a marked decrease in reoffenders among the former group. 4. The reasons for this are self-evidently related to the better jobs available for individuals with diplomas. 5. This tangible effect is heartening as prisons should ideally serve to rehabilitate convicts for civilian life and not simply punish them for past transgressions while limiting their future career options to more criminal activity.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it.
  4. State the results.
  5. Finish with the furthest possible results.

1. However, the efficacy of prison education is limited compared to improved education for underprivileged segments of society. 2. The research on education while incarcerated is dwarfed by studies on the primacy of education before the onset of criminal activity. 3. A good example of this would be the persistently high crime rates among inner city youth who do not have access to good public schools. 4. Those who fail to graduate from high school have drastically higher rates of later criminality ranging from burglary to robbery to violent crimes. 5. If a student is supported in their studies, they have no need to turn to crime later in life to make ends meet. 6. Once a convicted felon, even for the rare individuals who earn a degree, it is difficult to find good work later.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Give a specific example.
  4. Develop the example.
  5. Continue with the same example and main idea.
  6. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, the unequivocal benefits of prison education reform do not justify its priority over more impactful educational measures. 2. There should be a degree of balance but the most efficient solution should invariably receive the most resources.

  1. Repeat your opinion and summarise your main ideas.
  2. Add a final thought/detail. Learn more about how to write your conclusion here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Research has shown that educational level is a key determiner of potential criminal behaviour, leading many to suggest reorienting prisons to focus on helping inmates earn degrees. In my opinion, this approach would be ineffective relative to other measures.

Reformers point to the bulk of studies supporting this practice. The last 50 years have witnessed a growth in prison programs funded by federal governments and private activists aiding prisoners earning either a high school or university degree. Tracking those who are released with a degree compared to those without has shown a marked decrease in reoffenders among the former group. The reasons for this are self-evidently related to the better jobs available for individuals with diplomas. This tangible effect is heartening as prisons should ideally serve to rehabilitate convicts for civilian life and not simply punish them for past transgressions while limiting their future career options to more criminal activity.

However, the efficacy of prison education is limited compared to improved education for underprivileged segments of society. The research on education while incarcerated is dwarfed by studies on the primacy of education before the onset of criminal activity. A good example of this would be the persistently high crime rates among inner city youth who do not have access to good public schools. Those who fail to graduate from high school have drastically higher rates of later criminality ranging from burglary to robbery to violent crimes. If a student is supported in their studies, they have no need to turn to crime later in life to make ends meet. Once a convicted felon, even for the rare individuals who earn a degree, it is difficult to find good work later.

In conclusion, the unequivocal benefits of prison education reform do not justify its priority over more impactful educational measures. There should be a degree of balance but the most efficient solution should invariably receive the most resources.

Answers

educational level how much you have studied, your degrees

key determiner crucial element

potential criminal behaviour possible criminal actions

leading making

suggest advise

reorienting prisons changing the direction of incarceration

inmates people in prison

degrees certificates

ineffective relative to not as useful compared to

measures actions

reformers people who want to make changes

bulk of studies majority of research

practice institution, way of doing things

witnessed has seen

prison programs jail reforms

funded by given money by

federal governments the national government

private activists not the government, individuals

aiding helping

tracking following

released let out

marked decrease clear fall

reoffenders among the former group people who commit crimes again in the first mentioned group

self-evidently obviously

diplomas certificates

tangible effect clear impact

heartening gives you hope

ideally serve to in a perfect world works to

rehabilitate convicts fix prisoners

civilian life living among normal society

punish hurt

past transgressions mistakes in the past

limiting their future career options not many job opportunities

criminal activity bad behaviour

efficacy how well it works

limited contained

improved education better schools

underprivileged segments of society poorer groups of people

incarcerated in prison/jail

dwarfed made lesser

primacy importance

onset beginning

persistently high crime rates always committing a lot of crimes

inner city youth kids living in the city

access to good public schools can go to good government schools

fail to graduate do not get out of high school

drastically higher rates clearly more of them

later criminality ranging fromto to after that commit crimes including

later in life when they’re older

make ends meet make enough money

convicted felon incarcerated individual

rare not common

unequivocal benefits clear advantages

priority more important

impactful educational measures effectual policies related to education

a degree of balance some equality

efficient solution cost-effective remedy

invariably always

resources money, time, etc.

Pronunciation

ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl ˈlɛvl 
kiː dɪˈtɜːmɪnə 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl ˈkrɪmɪnl bɪˈheɪvjə
ˈliːdɪŋ 
səˈʤɛst 
ˌriːˈɔːriɛntɪŋ ˈprɪznz 
ˈɪnmeɪts 
dɪˈgriːz
ˌɪnɪˈfɛktɪv ˈrɛlətɪv tuː 
ˈmɛʒəz
rɪˈfɔːməz 
bʌlk ɒv ˈstʌdiz 
ˈpræktɪs
ˈwɪtnɪst 
ˈprɪzn ˈprəʊgræmz 
ˈfʌndɪd baɪ 
ˈfɛdərəl ˈgʌvnmənts 
ˈpraɪvɪt ˈæktɪvɪsts 
ˈeɪdɪŋ 
ˈtrækɪŋ 
rɪˈliːst 
mɑːkt ˈdiːkriːs 
ˌriːəˈfɛndəz əˈmʌŋ ðə ˈfɔːmə gruːp
sɛlf-ˈɛvɪdəntli 
dɪˈpləʊməz
ˈtænʤəbl ɪˈfɛkt 
ˈhɑːtnɪŋ 
aɪˈdɪəli sɜːv tuː 
ˌriːəˈbɪlɪteɪt ˈkɒnvɪkts 
səˈvɪljən laɪf 
ˈpʌnɪʃ 
pɑːst trænsˈgrɛʃənz 
ˈlɪmɪtɪŋ ðeə ˈfjuːʧə kəˈrɪər ˈɒpʃənz 
ˈkrɪmɪnl ækˈtɪvɪti
ˈɛfɪkəsi 
ˈlɪmɪtɪd 
ɪmˈpruːvd ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃən 
ˌʌndəˈprɪvɪlɪʤd ˈsɛgmənts ɒv səˈsaɪəti
ɪnˈkɑːsəreɪtɪd 
dwɔːft 
ˈpraɪməsi 
ˈɒnsɛt 
pəˈsɪstəntli haɪ kraɪm reɪts 
ˈɪnə ˈsɪti juːθ 
ˈæksɛs tuː gʊd ˈpʌblɪk skuːlz
feɪl tuː ˈgrædjʊət 
ˈdræstɪk(ə)li ˈhaɪə reɪts 
ˈleɪtə ˌkrɪmɪˈnælɪti ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm … tuː … tuː 
ˈleɪtər ɪn laɪf 
meɪk ɛndz miːt
kənˈvɪktɪd ˈfɛlən
reə 
ˌʌnɪˈkwɪvəkəl ˈbɛnɪfɪts 
praɪˈɒrɪti 
ˈɪmpæktf(ə)l ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl ˈmɛʒəz
ə dɪˈgriː ɒv ˈbæləns 
ɪˈfɪʃənt səˈluːʃən 
ɪnˈveərɪəbli 
rɪˈsɔːsɪz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Research has shown that e_____________________l is a k___________________r of p______________________________r, l___________g many to s__________t r_______________________s to focus on helping i___________s earn d__________s. In my opinion, this approach would be i____________________________o other m_____________s.

R_____________s point to the b_________________s supporting this p____________e. The last 50 years have w___________d a growth in p_________________s f_______________y f_______________________s and p_________________s a__________g prisoners earning either a high school or university degree. T_____________g those who are r___________d with a degree compared to those without has shown a m________________e in r_______________s a____________________________p. The reasons for this are s___________________y related to the better jobs available for individuals with d____________s. This t_________________t is h_____________g as prisons should i___________________o r______________________s for c__________________e and not simply p___________h them for p_____________________s while l_______________________________s to more c____________________y.

However, the e_____________y of prison education is l____________d compared to i___________________n for u__________________________________y. The research on education while i_________________d is d_______________d by studies on the p_____________y of education before the o________t of criminal activity. A good example of this would be the p_____________________________s among i_______________________h who do not have a_______________________________s. Those who f_________________e from high school have d__________________________s of l_________________y r_______________m burglary ____ robbery ____ violent crimes. If a student is supported in their studies, they have no need to turn to crime l_______________e to m__________________t. Once a c________________n, even for the r_____e individuals who earn a degree, it is difficult to find good work later.

In conclusion, the u_______________________s of prison education reform do not justify its p___________y over more i________________________________s. There should be a_____________________e but the most e___________________n should i__________________y receive the most r_________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about a project related to this from Bard College and use these ideas to practice:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic from a review about a TV show here and practice with the following reading activities:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jun/15/college-behind-bars-review-how-education-can-unlock-prisoners-potential

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Truth in Crime

  1. Why do witnesses of crimes sometimes disagree in their accounts?
  2. How can modern technology help solve crimes?
  3. Will teaching children to be honest reduce crime in the future?
  4. Should there be more severe penalties for crimes like libel?
  5. How will the detection of lies change in the future?

Writing Practice

Write about the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

The most common solution for criminal behaviour is prison but many believe education is a better method.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


  • 74.6K
  •  
  •  
    74.6K
    Shares

Recommended For You