Correctional Education


Reentry Essentials: An Overview of Employment and Correctional Education

People who have been incarcerated earn 40 percent less annually than they had earned prior to incarceration and are likely to have less upward economic mobility over time than those who have not been incarcerated, according to a 2010 report from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Evaluating the Impact of Adult Correctional Education

According to a 2014 meta-analysis by the RAND Corporation, adults who participated in correctional education programs were shown to have, on average, a 43 percent less likelihood of recidivating and were 13 percent more likely to obtain employment upon their release from incarceration.

Improving Education in Juvenile Correctional Facilities

The reports listed in this post provide strategies and recommendations to ensure that all youth are provided a safe and engaging learning environment; have access to highly qualified teachers who have opportunities for ongoing professional development; and are taught a rigorous curriculum aligned with state standards.

NRRC Projects

Second Chance Act Technology Career Training Grant Program

This grant program helps state, local government agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes to establish programs to train individuals in prisons, jails, or juvenile residential facilities for technology-based jobs and careers.

Improving College and Career Readiness for Youth and Young Adults in the Justice System

The project works to identify policy and practice barriers to meeting the education and vocational needs of youth and young adults in the juvenile justice system, and to offer strategies for improving outcomes for these young people.

Key Resources

LOCKED OUT: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

This issue brief provides state and local policymakers with policy and practice recommendations to improve college and career readiness for incarcerated youth.

Read More

How Effective is Correctional Education, and Where Do We Go from Here?

This publication provides the results of a comprehensive evaluation on the state of correctional education programs for adults and juveniles. It includes a meta-analysis on correctional education’s effects on recidivism and post-employment outcomes for adults, as well as a synthesis of research on programs for youth.

Read More

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: What Corrections and Reentry Agencies Need to Know

This fact sheet provides corrections and reentry agencies with an overview of how WIOA funds can support employment and education services for people in the justice system and those who are returning to their communities after incarceration.

Read More

Highlights from the U.S. PIAAC Survey of Incarcerated Adults: Their Skills, Work Experience, Education, and Training

The U.S. Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Survey of Incarcerated Adults was designed to provide policymakers, administrators, educators, and researchers with information to improve educational and training opportunities for incarcerated adults and foster skills they need in order to return to, and work successfully in, society upon release from prison. This report highlights data from the survey’s extensive background questionnaire and direct assessments of cognitive skills.

Read More

A Reentry Education Model: Supporting Education and Career Advancement for Low-Skill Individuals in Corrections

This guide from the U.S. Department of Education describes the development of a correctional education reentry model illustrating an education continuum to bridge the gap between prison and community-based education and training programs. The goal of this model is to ensure that people leaving incarceration can gain the knowledge and skills needed to obtain long-term, living-wage employment and transition successfully out of the corrections system. It is based on a review of research studies and feedback from a panel of experts, including practitioners, administrators, and researchers in the fields of corrections and education.

Read More