Not all correctional systems are that way.
In Indiana, there are programs upon programs that grant "good-time" and allow for reduction in term when the offender takes advantage of them. Education and vocational training are readily available. The problem is that the offender himself/herself must take advantage of these programs as well as personal responsibility. It's no different than the outside in that area.
Re-acclimation is tough. No one wants to hire a felon for reasons stretching from fear to liability. It's just a fact of life. Most felons are relegated (obviously by their own hand due to taking part in an illegal act and being prosecuted) to manual labor and lower skilled positions.
I think S=E inflated Texas's recidivism numbers and they have been on the decline since 2008 at a steady and impressive pace.
You say shark I say hey man, Jaws was never my scene and I don't like Star Wars