Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Jun 9, 2022.
I love it. Eastern has a big Prison Education Program too! https://www.eastern.edu/prisoned
I've written before (in a thread you started Steve!) about the documentary College Behind Bars about the Bard Prison Initiative: https://www.degreeinfo.com/index.php?threads/college-behind-bars.59687/
As some of you know, I have experience in corrections. It is well-known that only two things truly impact recidivism: work and education. Both are transformative. There are other necessary rehabilitative functions in prison: mental health, counseling, health care, to name a few.
Funding these things is difficult. Inmates were made ineligible for Pell Grants in 1994, part of a wider "get tough" attitude towards crime and imprisonment. And funding for high school and college programs behind bars dried up as well.
The source of funding the program is not stated in the article. It is run by Washington University (presumably the one in St Louis), a private, not-for-profit university. Perhaps the school is funding the program themselves. No matter what, though, you can feel the vibe and how it is changing its participants.
There's a great documentary on Amazon prime about College Behind Bars:
Hey I’m watching Ken Burns Presents:
My understanding is the
1994 Pell Grant ineligibility for incarcerated individuals is going through a trial for 2022-2023 that will make students eligible for programs even if incarcerated. A list of schools that were selected for the trial were listed online. More information is available at: https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-announces-it-will-expand-second-chance-pell-experiment-2022-2023-award-year
The local jail and prison system (combined) where I currently reside has no director of education, which seems like pure insanity to me and I have considered contacting the governor about it since college is now free here for anyone who either has a high school diploma or passed the GED/Hi-Set. I know young people here who are incarcerated I really need to be going to college. I sent off for information for colleges that offer courses to incarcerated individuals. It's a really difficult to deal with this though without having a director of education at the local system, and it seems unfair to even try and put it all on whatever social worker or mental health provider the person gets put with.
You shouldn't do the crime if you aren't willing to do the time or pay the fine.
However, for people with prison sentences, I think they should be given an opportunity to earn a college degree in prison via mostly alt credits & federal pell grants to reduce the burden on state budgets.
Once they get a degree, they should get early parole on the condition they find a job and stay off drugs.
After 5-7 years of working, it would be nice if they would qualify to get their records expunged so they won't face discrimination and get a fresh start in life.
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