Why Prison Education Matters

Prisoners after a graduation ceremony from a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California, April 20, 2015

Prisoners at a graduation ceremony for a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison, April 2015

Photo by Robert Galbraith/Reuters


April 6, 2017


4:00 p.m. 13th documentary (optional screening)
6:30 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Program


RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA

Complimentary parking at RAND

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More than 2.2 million people are locked up in American prisons. About 700,000 prisoners are released into their communities every year, and approximately 40 percent of them will find themselves back behind bars within three years. But a landmark RAND study shows participation in any kind of educational program while behind bars can help break the cycle. RAND found that correctional education programs substantially reduced an individual's risk of being reincarcerated and that such programs are cost effective—every dollar invested in correctional education saves nearly five dollars in reincarceration costs over three years.

In collaboration with the Michelson 20MM Foundation, RAND Policy Circle and RANDNext members are invited to a discussion about the costs and benefits of using education to stop the prison revolving door, and the effectiveness of programs like The Last Mile, which prepares inmates for reentry by providing them with marketable skills.

We will offer an optional screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary 13th, a film that explores the history of race and the criminal justice system in the United States. The film is also available for prior viewing on Netflix.

Lois Davis

Lois Davis

Senior Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.

Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr.

California State Assembly Member

Kenyatta Leal

Kenyatta Leal

Founding Member & First Graduate, The Last Mile

Chris Redlitz

Chris Redlitz

Founder, The Last Mile; Managing Partner, Transmedia Capital

Frank Stoltze

Frank Stoltze (moderator)

Correspondent, KPCC

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