First Step Act website

If it passes, the First Step Act will dramatically change life for thousands of inmates in America and will tackle, head-on, some of the problems that lead people to prison and keeps them there. There are many long-overdue items on the Act that includes banning the shackling of pregnant and postpartum women (was a woman…

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Liberal Arts Prison Education

Liberal arts. Anyone studying this subject is frequently acquainted with an eye roll followed by, “and how are you supposed to get a job with that?” Liberal arts has a bad rap, and that is very underserved. The truth is, liberal arts is among one of the oldest courses of study in the world! While…

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Prison Studies Project

The Prison Studies Project (PSP) is an initiative that created a nationwide directory of higher education prison programs in the United States. The index was completed in 2008 and is updated regularly. The project was completed in partnership with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice. According to PSP’s website, “PSP aims to…

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CPEP

The Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) provides college degree courses for persons in upstate New York prisons. Believing that “any person can find instruction in any study,” the leaders of CPEP see this education as a fundamental part of any successful re-entry program. CPEP launched after an act of Congress and the resulting legislation ended…

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In 1994, as part of the Clinton-era tough on crime Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, Congress stripped from the Higher Education Act of 1956 (HEA) prisoners’ eligibility for federal Pell grants for lower-income students. But in July 2015, the Obama Department of Education (DOE) created a pilot Second Chance program under a different HEA…

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A young male prisoner in a grey sweater sits on the floor of a library reading a book.

By Christopher Zoukis The connection between education and the likelihood of prisoners returning to prison upon release is clear. According to various studies, prisoners who become educated stay crime-free in the community longer than those who don’t, and the higher the education received, the less the chance of recidivism. However, there is one major issue…

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the hand of a female is shown on a computer mouse on a light blue table at the Baylor Women's Correctional Institution in New Castle, Delaware.

By Christopher Zoukis Historically, careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math have been overwhelmingly held by men, but in recent years there has been a continued push to have women take notice of these careers as well. Known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), these positions require higher education and advanced…

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