WASHINGTON — Prisoners should be provided free education in order to reduce crime and recidivism, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich declared at a gathering of conservative advocates of prison reform.
Right on Crime, a Texas-based coalition of conservative public figures and elected officials, had a two day Leadership Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center Tuesday and Wednesday.
Newt Gingrich gave remarks at the Wednesday morning session, describing some of the needs he believed had to be met for meaningful prison reform.
While still supportive of the early 1990's "war on crime" measures championed by the likes of New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gingrich believed that more had to be done than merely arresting people.
Gingrich told The Christian Post that he believed education was a crucial component for helping to aid individuals released from prison who were able to be reformed.
"When you realize how many of the prisoners score the very bottom of literacy. If you don't learn how to read during a period when we're paying your housing, we're paying your food, we've total control of your life," said Gingrich.
"If we can't figure out a way to use online learning and other systems to help you learn how to read and how to be productive why would we think you are going to get a job when you get out of prison?"