Custodial sentences are aimed at preventing inmates from perpetrating additional criminal offenses once their sentence ends. Criminal recidivism rate in Serbia ranges from 50% to 70%, which implies that the proclaimed goal of custodial sentences is seldom achieved. Therefore, the criticism of the concept of custodial sentences seems justifiable. Predominantly based on segregation and isolation, custodial sentences do not contribute to the reduction of recidivism if no adequate treatment programmes are implemented throughout their duration. One of the forms of treatment is directed towards the education of inmates. The dispersion of educational needs of inmates and the results of research on the effectiveness of prison educational programmes in the reduction of recidivism justify the investment into such programmes. The education of inmates and the improvement of competences contribute to the reduction of recidivism by means of successful employment. Besides improving competences, such a category of employment minimizes the frequency of negative opinions that potential employers may hold about former inmates.
Vera Petrović, MA is a PhD candidate at the Faculty for Special Education and Rehabilitation, University of Belgrade.
Goran Jovanić, PhD is an assistant professor at the Faculty for Special Education and Rehabilitation, University of Belgrade.