The aim of this study was to examine Norwegian prisoners' educational motives, and how previous incarceration, sentence length, and sentence served influence such motives. Three motive categories emerged: future planning (Factor 1), social reasons and escapism (Factor 2), and competence building (Factor 3). Among prisoners who participated in education, longer sentence predicted high score on both Factor 1 and Factor 3. Also, with the greater proportion of sentence served, participants scored higher on Factor 3. Among non-participants, longer sentence predicted high score on Factor 3. Previous incarceration was not significantly related to the educational motives for either of the two groups.