This month a report released by the National Conference of State Legislatures highlights several sobering statistics about incarcerated people and the impact postsecondary programs have in prisons:

  • Unemployment rate among formerly incarcerated people stands at 27 percent juxtaposed to the record-low 3.8 percent we are seeing now.
  • Formerly incarcerated people are nearly twice as likely to have no high school credential.
  • 2.3 million people are currently incarcerated in the U.S. and 95 percent of them will eventually be released back into their communities, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. In 2017 alone, 622,000 people were released from federal and state prisons, which is more than 1700 people every day. Most of these people were between the ages of 25-54.  
  • Prison Wardens report that postsecondary education programs improve a prison's environment and culture.
  • Recidivism rates are dramatically impacted by education programs. Inmates who received an education while in prison were between 43 percent and 72 percent less likely to return to prison. In fact, for every $1 spent on education, it saves taxpayers $5.  

Full Study: National Conference of State Legislatures  

Additional Resource: Last month, the folks at Ithaka S+R released a report offering an overview of Postsecondary Education in Prisons

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