The Pell grant program offers educational opportunities to incarcerees who have been previously unable to access federal need-based financial aid. According to a Vera Institute of Justice report, inmates who participated in the program were 13 percent more likely to obtaining employment post-release.
Digital literacy is a critical tool for returning citizens required to navigate a wired world that has radically changed since they were confined. But ‘profiteering’ tech monopolies have created unnecessary hurdles for inmates, says two digital literacy advocates.
Paying NGOs for each week “they manage to keep formerly imprisoned persons in their charge alive and out of the criminal justice system” could help reduce America’s recidivism rates, says a senior research fellow at the American Institute of Economic Research.
Under a bill presented to state lawmakers this month, incarcerated young people can choose a variety of degrees or technical certificates to pursue. Utah State Rep. Lowry Snow, the bill’s author, called education “the antidote to recidivism.”
Even as the justice system begins to embrace serious reform, the benefits have excluded one large group of incarcerated individuals ― those convicted of violent crimes. But the reinstatement of Pell grants, which are available to everyone, might help change an approach based on racial bias and misinformation, writes the policy and advocacy director of the College & Community Fellowship.
Congress’s decision to reinstate financial aid for incarcerated students pursuing higher education has been hailed as a long-overdue achievement. But, the program will need careful monitoring to ensure that sufficient infrastructure is in place and that it is not exploited by for-profit colleges “looking for an easy buck,” experts tell The Crime Report.
With limited options for distance learning, many prisons and colleges have devised alternatives to in-person teaching during the coronavirus shutdown. But many other programs have been shut down, leaving advocates to fear severe disruptions in their mission to teach college courses behind bars.
Adult offenders who participated in rehabilitation programs committed fewer offenses compared with adults who did not participate, according to an analysis released by the National Institute of Justice.