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Open Access Prisoners' right to education: A philosophical survey

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Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares: 'Everyone has the right to education.' This implies that the right to education and training applies to all persons, including all persons in prison. This position is considered here from a philosophical point of view and it will receive some support. Yet it is not obvious that the position is correct, nor, if it is, how it is best explained. I will examine the basis for asserting a right to education on behalf of all prisoners, and consider what is required by way of its defence in the face of common objections. I illustrate how international conventions and principles express prisoners' right to education, and I look at how this right is defended by appeal to education as a means to an end and as a human right – required by respect for persons and their human dignity.

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Keywords: HUMAN DIGNITY; HUMAN RIGHTS; PRISON EDUCATION; RESPECT FOR PERSONS; RIGHTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2014

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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