Making an Impact

  • Six percent of residents in state prisons nationwide have the opportunity for college courses, offered in only 35 percent of state prisons.[1]
  • “In comparison to the cost of re-incarceration, education offers an estimated 400 % return on investment for taxpayers over three years, or $5 saved for every $1 spent.[2]
  • The largest study on correctional education programs in the United States, conducted by RAND, indicates that when incarcerated, residents who participate in prison education programs are 43% less likely to recidivate than those who do not, including reoffending, rearrest, reconviction, re-incarceration, or parole violations. [3]
  • In-prison college courses provide greater opportunity for those released to obtain employment. The increase in employment is 13 percent.[4]
  • In-prison college programs increase the safety of the correctional facility, affecting correctional staff as well as incarcerated individuals who are not in college programs[5]
  • Children of incarcerated college students and graduates are more likely to seek postsecondary education for themselves, extending the academic opportunities to future generations. [6]

[1] See Laura E. Gorgol and Brian A. Sponsler, Unlocking Potential: Results of a National survey of Postsecondary Education in State Prisons, (Washington, DC: 2011).

[2] See Lois M. Davis, Robert Bozick, Jennifer L. Steele, Jessica Saunders, Jeremy N. V. Miles, Evaluating the Effectiveness of correctional Education: A Meta-Analysis of Programs That Provide Education to Incarcerated Adults (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corp., 2013), 81.

[3] See: Making the Grade: Vera Institute for Justice, p. 10.

[4] Davis, Steele, et al., xvi, 15.

[5] See Correctional Association of New York, Education from the Inside, Out: Multiple Benefits of College Programs in Prison (New York: correctional Association of New York, 2009) 8-9.

[6]Correctional Association of New York, 2009, 3.