"Our prisons should be a place where we can train people for skills that can help them find a job, not train them to become more hardened criminals." —President Obama, July 14, 2015
Since the President took office, this Administration has been committed to reforming America's criminal justice system and highlighting the importance of reducing barriers facing justice-involved individuals who are trying to put their lives back on track. Over 2.2 million individuals are in American prisons and jails, and the vast majority of them will return to their communities. Improving education and job opportunities has a recognized effect of reducing crime, making our communities safer and reducing barriers to success.
Today, the Administration announced a series of education and jobs programs along with other supportive measures designed to ensure that people who are returning from prison to the community are equipped with the skills and resources necessary to obtain employment, support their families, and contribute to society. Today at 10:00am ET, the Center for American Progress (CAP) will host a conversation on criminal justice with U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, and U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. These efforts build on the momentum around the Roadmap to Reentry announcement, National Reentry Week, and progress made by the Federal Interagency Reentry Council.
Today's Administration announcements include:
• Second Chance Pell Pilot Program. The Department of Education selected 67 colleges and universities who will partner with more than 100 Federal and state correctional institutions to enroll roughly 12,000 incarcerated students in educational and training programs. Selected schools will offer classroom-based instruction, online education, or a hybrid of both at corrections facilities; the vast majority of selected schools are public two- and four-year institutions. Recent studies show that incarcerated individuals who participate in correctional education are 43 percent less likely to return to prison within three years than prisoners who did not participate in any correctional education programs, resulting in estimates that for every dollar invested in correctional education programs, four to five dollars are saved on re-incarceration costs. Through the Second Chance Pell pilot program, institutions may provide Federal Pell Grants to qualified students who are incarcerated and eligible for release, particularly those who are likely to be released within five years of enrolling in coursework. The Second Chance Pell program responds to recommendations put forth by the President's My Brother's Keeper Task Force to promote successful alternatives to incarceration and eliminate unnecessary barriers to reentry.
• Reentry Demonstrati ...
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