[Technology 999] Latest NAAL Report -- Literacy Behind Bars

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Maralit, Mary Jo MMaralit at NIFL.gov
Thu May 10 11:55:05 EDT 2007

Forwarded by request: Literacy Behind Bars
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has just released
Literacy Behind Bars: Results From the 2003 National Assessment of Adult
Literacy Prison Survey. This report presents findings on the literacy skills
of incarcerated adults and analyzes the changes in these skills since the
1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS).
Major findings include the following:
* The average Prose, Document, and Quantitative literacy scores of the
prison population were higher in 2003 than in 1992.
* Prison inmates had lower average prose, document, and quantitative
literacy than adults living in households. On average, inmates also had
lower levels of educational attainment than adults living in households.
* In general, either prison inmates had lower average Prose, Document,
and Quantitative literacy than adults living in households with the same
level of educational attainment or there was no statistically significant
difference between the two groups. The exception was that among adults
without any high school education, prison inmates had higher average
literacy on all three scales than adults living in households.
* In 2003, 37 percent of the prison population did not have a high
school diploma or a GED, compared with 49 percent in 1992.
* Incarcerated White adults had lower average prose literacy than
White adults living in households. Incarcerated Black and Hispanic adults
had higher average prose literacy than Black and Hispanic adults living in
* Between 1992 and 2003, average prose and quantitative literacy
levels increased for prison inmates who were Black, male, or in the 25- to
39-year-old age group.
For more information, please check NAAL web site at: nces.ed.gov/NAAL.
Jaleh Behroozi Soroui
Education Statistics Services Institute (ESSI)
American Institutes for Research
1990 K Street, NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202/403-6958
email: jsoroui at air.org

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