Why Prison Education Matters

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 invites you to listen to our panel of experts discuss 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.

Content

1:07:33

Why Prison Education Matters

Apr 5, 2017

Lois Davis, Kenyatta Leal, Chris Redlitz, Frank Stoltze

1:37

Kenyatta Leal on the Success of The Last Mile

Apr 5, 2017

Kenyatta Leal

1:42

RAND's Lois Davis on the Demand for Programs

Apr 6, 2017

Lois Davis

Speakers

Lois Davis

Lois Davis

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

Chris Redlitz

Chris Redlitz

Founder, The Last Mile; Managing Partner, Transmedia Capital

Kenyatta Leal

Kenyatta Leal

Founding Member & First Graduate, The Last Mile

Frank Stoltze

Frank Stoltze (Moderator)

Correspondent, KPCC

Learn More

  • Inmates study during their class at the Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, New York, April 8, 2016

    Support for Postsecondary Education in Prison

    Dec 15, 2016

    Correctional educational programs can reduce incarceration costs and recidivism. But it's critical that former inmates can connect with reentry services in the community to complete their education.

  • Why Correctional Education Matters

    Dec 12, 2016

    RAND research on correctional education explores the effects on recidivism and post-release employment outcomes, as well as its cost-effectiveness.

  • Jerome Boone shakes hands with members of the audience after graduating from a computer coding program at San Quentin State Prison in California, April 20, 2015

    The Impact of Correctional Education

    Nov 10, 2015

    Policymakers are considering how to reduce mass incarceration in the United States. Correctional education programs can help reduce recidivism and improve post-release employment outcomes. This saves taxpayers money.

  • Offenders read and write papers inside the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary library located in the Darrington Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice men's prison in Rosharon, Texas

    Using Education to Stop the Prison Revolving Door

    Sep 30, 2014

    Providing education and vocational training to inmates is a cost-effective way to reduce recidivism rates, thus shrinking prison populations and easing the strain on prison budgets. Education is far less expensive than incarceration.