CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

Making the Grade: Developing Quality Postsecondary Education Programs in Prison

Vera new logoWith its July 2015 announcement of the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program, the U.S. Department of Education ushered in what could be a new era of expanded opportunities for postsecondary education in U.S. prisons. The Second Chance Pell Pilot makes students incarcerated in state and federal prisons eligible for need-based financial aid in a limited number of authorized sites—meaning postsecondary education is likely to become a reality for  1.5 million more people in prisons nationwide. Research shows that—among other benefits to individuals, families, communities, and prisons—incarcerated people who participate in prison education programs are 43 percent less likely to recidivate than those who do not. This report from the Vera Institute of Justice offers lessons from the field on the implementation of these programs in correctional settings across the country.