As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to create a fairer, more effective criminal justice system, reduce recidivism, and combat the impact of mass incarceration on communities, the Department of Education today announced the Second Chance Pell Pilot program to test new models to allow incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants and pursue the postsecondary education with the goal of helping them turn their lives around and ultimately, get jobs, support their families, and turn their lives around.
High-quality correctional education – including postsecondary correctional education – has been shown to measurably reduce re-incarceration rates. By reducing recidivism, correctional education can ultimately save taxpayers money and create safer communities. According to a Department of Justice funded 2013 study from the RAND Corporation, incarcerated individuals who participated in correctional education were 43 percent less likely to return to prison within three years than prisoners who didn’t participate in any correctional education programs. RAND estimated that for every dollar invested in correctional education programs, four to five dollars are saved on three year re-incarceration costs.