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Benefits of Education in Prison

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 02 January 22 2019

January 2019

The Vera Institute of Justice has published a report on Investing in Futures: Economic and Fiscal Benefits of Postsecondary Education in Prison.

The report shows that among incarcerated people in federal and state prisons in the US, 64 percent are academically eligible to enroll in a postsecondary education program, meaning they have a high school diploma of equivalent. But 58% of people in prison do not complete an education programme, and those how do, get a high school diploma or equivalent. The main obstacle is the cap of 12000 imprisoned students that can be funded under the Second Chance Bell Program. Lifting that cap would open education for almost half a million more imprisoned people. The report estimates that getting an education in prison raises the likelihood of later employment with 10%. They show that it would not only improve peoplesĀ“ lives, but also bring scarce skills to the labour market while reducing tax expenses for the prison system by almost 370 million dollars a year.

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