Education Behind Bars: Investigating the Experience of Juveniles in Camp Jail, Lahore
Keywords:Juvenile Education, Correctional Education, Counseling, Satisfaction, Motivation, Rehabilitation.
This study presents the various dimensions of the correctional education program of a jail school through the eyes of the school administration and juvenile prisoners, in a local prison, The Camp Jail, Lahore, Pakistan. The study attempted to investigate the nature, scope, challenges, and effects of an educational intervention for juvenile prisoners carried out by an NGO Rehai. It explores the lived experiences of juvenile prisoners, their satisfaction with the educational set-up, motivation, future perception, challenges and demands of juvenile prisoners in the jail. The study is qualitative. The data was gathered through in-depth interviews of the organizer of the school and juvenile prisoners. The data were analyzed through thematic analysis. Results reveal that the school came into being for the rehabilitation of juveniles in prison. The prime focus was to transform and to save the juveniles from becoming hardened criminals. The educational program comprised three components, counselling, vocational training, and academics. Juveniles were highly satisfied and motivated in receiving education, particularly as they had no previous educational background. Moreover, they anticipate a possible respectful reentry into mainstream society due to education and vocational training. Challenges to school administration were juveniles’ behavioural problems, lack of resources and discouraging behaviour of jail staff. The juveniles had no issue over educational setup except the degrading behaviour of jail staff towards their education. The study paves the way for future research, reforms, and initiatives for the correctional education of juveniles in prison.