The Education from the Inside Out Coalition backs legislation to eliminate the 1994 ban on Pell Grant eligibility on incarcerated persons and re-establish the opportunity for otherwise eligible people in prison to obtain college aid through Pell Grants for postsecondary education programs. The proposal would not change current law that prohibits civilly-confined sex offenders from receiving any federal student aid.
Allowing access to education for the incarcerated will:
Reduce Recidivism: Many people leave prison unskilled and undereducated, both factors that correlate powerfully to recidivism rates, leaving them unprepared for life on the outside, and a risk to public safety.
Strengthen Underserved Communities: With ever-increasing prison sentences and recidivism rates, incarcerated people are released without the essential tools necessary for reintegration to society.
Increase Employment: Higher education for incarcerated people is valuable in a society where post-secondary credentials are increasingly necessary to gain access to living wage jobs.
Reduce Poverty: When parents participate in postsecondary education the likelihood their children will go to college increases, creating more opportunities for multiple generations to climb out of poverty.
Save Taxpayers Dollars: Taxpayers contribute to the $55,000 that it cost to house a person in jail for a year. Upon their release, formerly incarcerated individuals would be further dependent on tax payer dollars without the advantage of higher education because they will have to depend on social services for survival.