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Rehabilitation And Education In America’s Prisons

Police officers block a street. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average annual operating cost per incarcerated person is $22,650.
Police officers block a street. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average annual operating cost per incarcerated person is $22,650.

Today, an estimated 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the United States, making the U.S. number one on the list of countries with the highest prison populations. 

About  95 out of every 100 incarcerated Americans will eventually be released. But the country’s recidivism rate remains one of the highest in the world – within five years of arrest, 76.6 percent of released prisoners are re-arrested.

Some prisons have turned to education as a form of rehabilitation. Over the years, programs like the Bard Prison Initiative have provided educational opportunities for inmates in an attempt to reduce recidivism.

According to the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the recidivism rate for prisoners who went through education programs was on average 46 percent lower than prisoners who didn’t take classes while incarcerated.

The need for education in prison is not falling on deaf ears. Several bipartisan initiatives in the Senate would free up federal Pell Grants for incarcerated citizens, and try to improve their overall quality of life. But will those measures succeed? And what is the state of education in prison without them?

 

 

 

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