Limited-English speaking probationers in a southwestern county: A qualitative study of cultural factors affecting ABE/GED education
Thatcher, George R.
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It has been estimated that about fifty percent of all probationers in the United States are school dropouts (Wimer, 1985), with the percentages much higher among the language and ethnic minorities. Research has established a close connection between illiteracy, crime, and subsequent incarceration (Herrick, 1991), suggesting that literate members of society will be less likely to engage in criminal activity. Indeed, many prison inmates have stated that their lack of education is at least partly responsible for their problems with the law (Hernandez, 1978; Sainz & Biggins, 1979). To combat literacy problems among adults who are less than competent in the English language, including probationers, parolees, and other offenders, many communities are now engaged in adult literacy programs. A fundamental goal of these programs is to facilitate the development of functional levels of competency in the English language by their clients. Many programs are engaged in general educational equivalency (GED) education and skill-specific training as well.