Results from a National and Regional Landscape Scan of Higher Education in Prison
The role of higher educational attainment or postsecondary education (PSE) in prisons is receiving increased interest at the federal and state levels. In particular, in July 2015, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a new Second Chance Pell Pilot Program that will make incarcerated individuals who otherwise meet Title IV eligibility requirements now eligible for Pell Grants to help pay for their PSE and training, particularly within the next five years. RAND, in partnership with RTI International, was awarded a grant by the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation to undertake a national and regional landscape scan of higher education in prison to inform Great Lakes’ strategic planning process. The Great Lakes funding region includes five study states: Arkansas, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The goal was to summarize key trends in higher education in prison, identify promising approaches or models that can help get more justice-involved adults into pathways of higher education attainment, and identify opportunities to help replicate or expand higher education opportunities within the Great Lakes funding region and nationally.