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THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION: A REALITY OR PIPE DREAM FOR INCARCERATED YOUNG PRISONERS IN MALAWI
Correctional education, Malawi, prisoners’ rights, pipe dream, young prisoners
Young people are often incarcerated in penitentiaries worldwide. Incarceration is not expected to hinder their access to quality education. This article, guided by Marxist theory, examines the practicality of educational rights at five young prisoners’ facilities in Malawi. The study used a descriptive phenomenological qualitative research design to engage the voices of 52 incarcerated and released young people in semi-structured interviews to ascertain if prisoners’ quality education was a reality or mere pipedream at young prisoners’ facilities. The findings show a disparity between correctional education policies and the actual reality. Due to the inadequacy of resources and the negativity of the prison environment, the facilities failed to provide quality, appealing and motivating education to the already educationally disenchanted incarcerated young people, resulting in low enrolment rates. It was, therefore, concluded that education was still a pipe dream at young prisoners’ centres in Malawi.
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