In the category of countries that had a comprehensive strategy towards education reform, the following observations were made about the prison systems:
Trinidad and Tobago was nearest to meeting the EFA standards in the area of literacy training. This was so because it not only met the quantitative aspect of the EFA guidelines (the availability of the programmes) but also the qualitative aspect (the structured and organised nature of its programmes). Trinidad and Tobago was followed by Barbados, The Bahamas, and St. Lucia.
Barbados and The Bahamas seemed to offer the most in terms of skills training programmes and the approach towards facilitating the development of positive values and attitudes. This conclusion is drawn because of the variety of programmes offered and the organised nature of these programmes. These countries were followed by Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia in order of strongest to weakest.
In terms of provisions for health and health education in prisons, St. Lucia was the closest to meeting the EFA standards, as it had the widest range of programmes recorded for health education and the drive towards a healthy population.
In this category, Barbados appeared to be closest to meeting the EFA standards with respect to prison education.
3. In the category of countries with a project-driven approach towards education, the following observations were made:
In the area of literacy training, Curaçao appeared to be the country closest to achieving the EFA standards. This was mainly due to the structure of its literacy programme, geared towards the gradual development of inmates’ literacy skills. Curaçao was followed by Jamaica and Belize.
In the area of skills training, Jamaica and Curaçao were also the leading countries in promoting EFA.
In terms of facilitating the promotion of positive values and attitudes and health, Jamaica appeared to be the leading country in promoting EFA. This was mainly due to the establishment of the Dispute Resolution Foundation and the fact that, in terms, of health, it had a wider focus area on mental health and physical health (HIV/AIDS) than the other countries in its category.
Overall, Trinidad and Tobago, and Curaçao seemed to be the countries closest to meeting the EFA target in terms of literacy training in prisons. Barbados, The Bahamas, and Curaçao seemed to offer the most programmes in terms of skills training, while Barbados, The Bahamas, and Jamaica seemed to offer the most programmes in terms of the promotion of values and attitudes in prisons. The data showed that St. Lucia offered the most programmes in the area of health.
5. The general trend is that there is a lot of emphasis on values and attitudes in Caribbean prison systems, followed by skills training and literacy training, with the least emphasis on health education.
Discussion and Recommendations
The Human Rights Watch states that, in any given year, tens of millions of persons are confined or incarcerated. Most of these individuals have no higher vocational or advanced education, even in