RAND: The Case for Correctional Education in U.S. Prisons
Date:  01-14-2016

Report shows every dollar spent on educating incarcerated people saves five dollars of re-incarceration costs
From RAND Review:

Donald Daniels passes beneath a wooden sign on his way to class every morning, its surface chipped and scratched with graffiti. Its message, in all-capital letters, could have been the title of a recent RAND report that helped shift the very foundation of criminal justice reform efforts. “EDUCATION,” it says, “KEY TO THE FUTURE.”

Daniels is an inmate at the California Institution for Men, a sprawling prison complex about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. He's 49 years old, a prison veteran with 14 felony convictions on his record. His latest offense, for making criminal threats, helped land him in one place where RAND's study showed he stands a good chance of turning his life around: a prison classroom.

Inmates who participate in any kind of educational program behind bars—from remedial math to vocational auto shop to college-level courses—are up to 43 percent less likely to reoffend and return to prison, the study found. They also appear to be far more likely to find a job after their release, and the social stability that comes with it.

Every dollar invested in correctional education, RAND concluded, saves nearly five in reincarceration costs over three years. Read more

In a related article from the New York Times, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is again pushing for higher-education programs in NY prisons. Click here to learn more about Cuomo’s new initiative.