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Pell In Prison

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 10 July 08 2019

July 2019


The US National Conference of State Legislatures has published a report on “Correction by Degrees: Postsecondary Programs in Prisons”.
The conclusion that prison education programmes offer social and economic benefits for the incarcerated individuals, but also for the society and community to which they will eventually return, is well-founded in a solid evidence base.
In 2017, over 622 000 people were released from prison, with a likelihood of not find a job of 27% against a nation-wide average unemployment rate of less than 4%. Former inmates with who leave prison with some form of postsecondary education have a 10% better chance of finding a job than without it. Postsecondary education reduces the likelihood of falling back into crime by between 43% and 72%, which constitutes a saving in law enforcement of almost $370 million a year.
The report can be seen as part of an advocacy campaign for the Pell grants for inmates. These Pell grants were available to them from the start in 1972 until 1994, when inmates were excluded in a “tough on crime” approach, but this was remedied with the 2016 Second Chance Pell programme.

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