The Prison Literacy Problem

"The U.S. prison population has tripled since 1980 to a record 1.5 million. Another 3.5 million are on probation or parole. If this trend continues, the number of Americans under the control of the criminal justice system, including those in prison and on parole, will approach the number of full-time students enrolled in four-year colleges and universities. It is alarming that two- thirds don't have the literacy skills needed to function in society. An increasing number of states are reducing their support for education programs for prisoners. `With so many of our young adults incarcerated, are we comfortable with their overall low levels of literacy? Most all will be released back into society. Should we let them remain so unprepared for employment and social responsibility?' stated Richard Coley." (From ETS Developments 41:2, 1995-96, p.8).

Prison literacy


The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey gives insight into the abysmal literacy of prisoners. Using sophisticated sampling techniques, the survey measured the literacy level of 1,103 prisoners and 23,617 adult members of the general population with a test of 184 literacy items.

Rasch analysis of the NALS data was conducted in two phases. First, the general adult population were measured and item calibrations obtained. By inspection, 1 logit = 180 lexiles with a mean test difficulty of 916 lexiles. The mean adult literacy measure on this scale was 1,096 lexiles. Adult means by occupation and education completed were also obtained. Second, the items were anchored at their general calibrations and the prisoners were measured. The mean prisoner literacy measure was 951 lexiles, 145 lexiles less than the adult mean.

The results are in the Figure. Prisoner mean literacy is lower than the mean of any occupational group. One third of the prisoners read at less than a 9th grade level. This places prisoners at a disadvantage additional to their criminal history. They cannot compete in the work-place. If prison is to be a place of correction and rehabilitation, then prisoners must acquire the skills needed to give them, on release, a reasonable chance to become productive members of society. Vigorous prison literacy programs are essential.


Prison literacy problem. Linacre JM. … Rasch Measurement Transactions, 1996, 10:1 p.473

Please help with Standard Dataset 4: Andrich Rating Scale Model



Rasch Publications
Rasch Measurement Transactions (free, online) Rasch Measurement research papers (free, online) Probabilistic Models for Some Intelligence and Attainment Tests, Georg Rasch Applying the Rasch Model 3rd. Ed., Bond & Fox Best Test Design, Wright & Stone
Rating Scale Analysis, Wright & Masters Introduction to Rasch Measurement, E. Smith & R. Smith Introduction to Many-Facet Rasch Measurement, Thomas Eckes Invariant Measurement: Using Rasch Models in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, George Engelhard, Jr. Statistical Analyses for Language Testers, Rita Green
Rasch Models: Foundations, Recent Developments, and Applications, Fischer & Molenaar Journal of Applied Measurement Rasch models for measurement, David Andrich Constructing Measures, Mark Wilson Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences, Boone, Stave, Yale
in Spanish: Análisis de Rasch para todos, Agustín Tristán Mediciones, Posicionamientos y Diagnósticos Competitivos, Juan Ramón Oreja Rodríguez

To be emailed about new material on www.rasch.org
please enter your email address here:

I want to Subscribe: & click below
I want to Unsubscribe: & click below

Please set your SPAM filter to accept emails from Rasch.org

www.rasch.org welcomes your comments:

Your email address (if you want us to reply):

 

ForumRasch Measurement Forum to discuss any Rasch-related topic

Go to Top of Page
Go to index of all Rasch Measurement Transactions
AERA members: Join the Rasch Measurement SIG and receive the printed version of RMT
Some back issues of RMT are available as bound volumes
Subscribe to Journal of Applied Measurement

Go to Institute for Objective Measurement Home Page. The Rasch Measurement SIG (AERA) thanks the Institute for Objective Measurement for inviting the publication of Rasch Measurement Transactions on the Institute's website, www.rasch.org.

Coming Rasch-related Events
April 27-29, 2016, Wed.-Fri. In-person workshop: IRT/Rasch and CAT using Concerto (R), Cambridge, UK, www.psychometrics.cam.ac.uk/trainingworkshops/
May 11-13, 2016, Wed.-Fri. In-person workshop: Introductory Rasch (M. Horton, RUMM), Leeds, UK, www.leeds.ac.uk/medicine/rehabmed/psychometric
May 16-18, 2016, Mon.-Wed. In-person workshop: Intermediate Rasch (M. Horton. Tennant, RUMM), Leeds, UK, www.leeds.ac.uk/medicine/rehabmed/psychometric
May 27 - June 24, 2016, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
June 6, 2016, Monday Symposium on Rasch Analysis, Nottingham, UK (D. Andrich), Announcement
June 16-19, 2016, Thur.-Sat. In-person workshop: Introduction to Rasch measurement analysis in the healthcare sciences and education (in English), Barcelona, Spain (L. González de Paz, W. Boone, Winsteps), Announcement
July 1 - July 29, 2016, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
July 30-31, 2016, Sat.-Sun. PROMS 2016 Pre-Conference Workshop, Xi'an, China, confchina.com
Aug. 1-3, 2016, Mon.-Wed. PROMS 2016 Conference, Xi'an, China, confchina.com
Aug. 1 - Nov. 25, 2016, Mon.-Fri. On-line course: Introduction to Rasch Measurement Theory EDU5638 (D. Andrich, RUMM2030), www.education.uwa.edu.au
Aug. 3-5, 2016, Wed.-Fri. IMEKO 2016 TC1-TC7-TC13 Joint Symposium, Berkeley, CA, imeko-tc7-berkeley-2016.org
Aug. 12 - Sept. 9, 2016, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com
Sept. 2 - Oct. 14, 2016, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Rasch Applications, Part 1: How to Construct a Rasch Scale (W.P. Fisher, Jr.), www.statistics.com
Sept. 28-30, 2016, Wed.-Fri. In-person workshop: Introductory Rasch (M. Horton, RUMM), Leeds, UK, www.leeds.ac.uk/medicine/rehabmed/psychometric
Oct. 3-5, 2016, Mon.-Wed. In-person workshop: Intermediate Rasch (M. Horton. Tennant, RUMM), Leeds, UK, www.leeds.ac.uk/medicine/rehabmed/psychometric
Oct. 6-7, 2016, Thur.-Fri. In-person workshop: Advanced Rasch (M. Horton, RUMM), Leeds, UK, www.leeds.ac.uk/medicine/rehabmed/psychometric
Oct. 14 - Nov. 11, 2016, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
Dec. 7-9, 2016, Wed.-Fri. In-person workshop: Introductory Rasch (M. Horton, RUMM), Leeds, UK, www.leeds.ac.uk/medicine/rehabmed/psychometric
Jan. 6 - Feb. 3, 2017, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
May 26 - June 23, 2017, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
June 30 - July 29, 2017, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
Aug. 11 - Sept. 8, 2017, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com
Aug. 18-21, 2017, Fri.-Mon. IACAT 2017: International Association for Computerized Adaptive Testing, Niigata, Japan, iacat.org
Oct. 13 - Nov. 10, 2017, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
Jan. 5 - Feb. 2, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
Jan. 10-16, 2018, Wed.-Tues. In-person workshop: Advanced Course in Rasch Measurement Theory and the application of RUMM2030, Perth, Australia (D. Andrich), Announcement
Jan. 17-19, 2018, Wed.-Fri. Rasch Conference: Matilda Bay Club, Perth, Australia, Website
May 25 - June 22, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
June 29 - July 27, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Further Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
Aug. 10 - Sept. 7, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Many-Facet Rasch Measurement (E. Smith, Facets), www.statistics.com
Oct. 12 - Nov. 9, 2018, Fri.-Fri. On-line workshop: Practical Rasch Measurement - Core Topics (E. Smith, Winsteps), www.statistics.com
The HTML to add "Coming Rasch-related Events" to your webpage is:
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.rasch.org/events.txt"></script>

The URL of this page is www.rasch.org/rmt/rmt101a.htm

Website: www.rasch.org/rmt/contents.htm