Its almost ironic, that you see prisoners who do this, use their time to improve themselves. You know they would never have had the opportunity or time to do so on the outside that they are afforded inside.
There are some in the UK that benefit from the education on offer here and turn their lives around when given the opportunity.
Some years ago I employed a woman who had completed a life sentence and was released on license under a new identity. She had gone to prison barely able to read and write and had spent her time in there wisely. She was a fantastic worker and incredibly loyal because I had given her a chance when no one else would.
I'm not for a minute excusing what she did (she had killed someone) for which she'd served a long sentence. At times her "prison attitude" could present challenges but, to me, she demonstrated that with the right support and people that believe in them (she had a wonderfully supportive parole officer) it's much better to enable people to move on and make something of their lives than just rot away in jail.