NEW CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION REPORT AFFIRMS BENEFITS OF IN-PRISON COLLEGE PROGRAMS, CALLS FOR RENEWED FUNDING
Inmates that participate in post-secondary education programs have a lower recidivism rate than incarcerated comparison groups, several studies show.
For Immediate Release January 30, 2009
Contact: Robert Gangi
212-254-5700, ext. 305
New York, New York: The Correctional Association of New York, the state’s oldest criminal justice organization, released today, Education from the Inside, Out, a report examining the multiple benefits of in-prison college programs. In addition to conversations with formerly incarcerated people and program practitioners, the paper includes a survey of statistically-based studies supporting the significance of post-secondary correctional education in reducing recidivism and improving prison management.
The report recounts the recent history of federal and state cuts that have virtually eliminated in-prison college programs in New York and across the country:
- Since 1994, due to a provision in legislation signed into law by then President Bill Clinton, the nation’s inmates have been denied access to federal Pell Grants – small grants for low-income people to help pay for college. This act essentially cut off public support from Washington for college programs in prison. In 1995, under the leadership of then Governor George Pataki, New York banned inmates from receiving the State’s Tuition Assistance Program grants, effectively shutting down nearly all New York’s 70 in-prison college programs. Currently only eight programs in 16 facilities offer higher education courses to New York inmates.
Education from the Inside, Out presents strong evidence that in-prison college programs have a significant and direct impact on the rate at which people return to prison. Among other research, the report includes the results of a New York State Department of Correctional Services study: