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ERIC Number: ED558779
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 55
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Higher Education and Reentry: The Gifts They Bring. Reentry Research in the First Person
Halkovic, Alexis; Fine, Michelle; Bae, John; Campbell, Leslie; Evans, Desheen; Gary, Chaka; Greene, Andrew; Ramirez, Marc; Riggs, Robert; Taylor, Michael; Tebout, Ray; Tejawi, Aenora
Prisoner Reentry Institute
Virtually every study of the impact of college on incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people demonstrates a positive effect on income, civic engagement, family, and personal health, as well as dramatically reduced recidivism rates. College in and after prison offers a singularly effective strategy for redeveloping individuals, families and communities, reducing crime, and lightening the tax burden of incarceration. To date, there has been little research documenting the individual experience of men and women who come home from prison and decide to change their lives through higher education. In order to better understand the challenges that formerly incarcerated students face when applying to and entering college, and the unique strengths that they bring into classrooms, the Prisoner Reentry Institute initiated Participatory Action Research to elevate the voices of students addressing these questions. This report documents the post-prison journeys of students whose lives and education have been interrupted by periods of time in prison. It explores their motivations, challenges, supports, and the policy implications of their experiences. Utilizing participatory research methods, this report highlights the voices of these students and draws on their knowledge to offer invaluable insight into the collateral consequences--economic, structural, racial, familial, and personal--of mass incarceration. The study finds that: (1) These women and men confront numerous policy, structural, and programmatic obstacles as they seek access to higher education; (2) Nonprofit organizations and other community supports can increase the likelihood that these students will be successful in college; (3) These students bring gifts of enthusiasm for learning, desire to give back to their communities, persistence, diverse personal experiences, and a determination to transform their lives; (4) Many of these students worry that disclosure of their status as formerly incarcerated students may adversely affect their academic progress; and (5) These students also report having transformative experiences on campus. The following are appended: (1) Research Design; (2) Focus Group Maps; and (3) Additional Resources. [This research represents a collaboration between the Prisoner Reentry Institute, the Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY), and the Public Science Project.]
Prisoner Reentry Institute. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 555 West 57th Street Suite 601, New York, NY 10019. Fax: 646-557-4813; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: NYC Center for Economic Opportunity
Authoring Institution: Prisoner Reentry Institute
Identifiers - Location: New York