Postsecondary Education in Prison
Why it matters
› Public safety: Incarcerated people who participate in prison education programs are 43 percent less likely to recidivate than those who do not. Fewer crimes and less rule-breaking on post-release supervision lead to fewer crime victims and enable probation and parole agencies to concentrate their resources on their riskiest supervisees.
› Facility safety: Prisons with college programs have fewer violent incidents, creating safer working conditions for staff and safer living environments for incarcerated people.
› Preparing for post-release jobs and successful reentry: By 2020, 65 percent of jobs will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. However, only 11 percent of incarcerated people in state prisons and 24 percent of those in federal prisons have completed at least some postsecondary education.
› Taxpayer savings/Return on investment: Every dollar invested in prison-based education yields $4 to $5 of taxpayer savings in reduced incarceration costs.
› Stronger families and communities: When parents — including those who are incarcerated — complete college, their children are more likely to do so, thereby disrupting the typical cycle of poverty and incarceration.