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ERIC Number: ED531682
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
The Other Pipeline: From Prison to Diploma Community Colleges and Correctional Education Programs
Spycher, Dianna M.; Shkodriani, Gina M.; Lee, John B.
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but more than 23 percent of the world's incarcerated people, putting the U.S. first among all nations. This high rate of incarceration represents costs both for taxpayers and for the communities affected by the many lives interrupted by prison sentences. Race/ethnicity is an important part of this issue. In the U.S., African American men are more than six times as likely, and Hispanic men are two and one-half times as likely, to be incarcerated as whites (West 2010). If the U.S. could reduce its disproportionate level of minority confinement by just 50 percent, its incarceration rate would rank fifth, instead of first, in the world (Hartney 2006). One means of reducing this prison population is to find ways to reduce the recidivism rate. Most inmates will eventually return to their communities, but they are often unprepared for the barriers they face--stigmatization, the inability to find a job and an inadequate education. Education while in prison can provide ex-offenders with the skills that will better prepare them to make a positive contribution to society. This report investigates postsecondary education in prisons as a means of reducing recidivism and of helping ex-offenders, specifically males of color, enjoy a more successful life post release. The first chapter sets the stage by describing the prison population and discussing the problems that ex-offenders experience when reentering their communities. The second chapter presents the economic and social case for community college programs in prisons. The third chapter makes the case that community colleges are the optimum providers of education inside prisons, and summarizes the existing literature on community college partnerships and programs. The fourth chapter discusses the limited access to postsecondary education programs in prisons. The authors describe the limitations to creating and maintaining postsecondary correctional education programs in the fifth chapter. Chapter six describes ways in which obstacles to establishing successful education programs have been overcome and what is necessary to sustain them. Finally, the seventh chapter makes policy recommendations and identifies solutions for providing inmates with access to effective postsecondary education. Appended are: (1) Prisoners under state or federal authority, by gender, Dec. 31, 2000-2009; (2) Estimated number of inmates under state and federal jurisdiction, by sex, race, Hispanic origin and age, Dec. 31, 2009; (3) The growth of private prisons; and (4) Number of facilities under state or federal authority that offered vocational and college courses to inmates, Dec. 30, 2005. (Contains 3 tables and 7 charts.) [Foreword by Ronald A. Williams.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A