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Correctional Education

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse Focus Area: Education

In today’s competitive workforce, educational credentials are increasingly important for securing employment, but many people who become confined in correctional facilities have low levels of educational attainment. Recognizing this deficit, many correctional institutions offer educational programs including adult basic education, high school or GED programs, college or post-secondary programs, and vocational training. Research on the degree to which these various educational programs promote reentry success can help jail and prison administrators determine how to distribute their limited resources.

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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.

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