Education, that is the ability to think and analyze, is the key too good decisions and freedom. The majority of prisoners were never given an adequate education. There are many sociopolitical factors as to why. But the matter of fact is, now they are given the time to regain that lost education. Knowledge soothes the mind and reduces violence. Smart people don't see a need for violence. Also, if rehabilitation and education are a primary focus, once the prisoner is released there is a smaller chance of them being back in the system.
Prison reform should focus on the education and rehabilitation of inmates instead of on mental persuasion. You can't always persuade someone to change a negative behavior unless you can offer some reasonable benefit to the person that the behavior change will bring. Education is very important if people are to better themselves. Knowledge is power, according to the old saying, and that is very often true. By educating inmates and showing them positive outcomes to changing their behavior and actions, the rehabilitation process will be much more effective. Inmates must have something to work towards - something legitimately attainable or they have no reason to want to change. By teaching them skills and proficiency in areas where they can get work once out of prison, they may be able to become respected members of the community.
Prison reform? What's that? We certainly don't have that here in the United States, where the goal is to simply punish and warehouse these days. If we did have prison reform, I really do think that education and rehabilitation should be the ideal goals. We should work to make prisoners decent members of society.
It makes sense to return to the basic foundations of what makes a good person and society which is education and the development of a capable person. These people in prison probably fell off the tracks at some critical point, but now have the extra shock of prison to convince them to focus on rehab or schooling so they can be somebody.
Education and rehabilitation would be the best way to go for prisons. Mental persuasion hasn't been shown to work very well. Showing prisoners a clean and successful lifestyle that doesn't need violence or drugs is often an eye-opener for them, and education would be the first major step in doing so.