• Report

    How Did COVID-19 Affect Prison Education?

    Many U.S. correctional systems shut down or cut back on education and vocational programs because of the pandemic. But having to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions helped accelerate the adoption of online and hybrid learning models and the use of technology for prison education programs.

    Mar 23, 2023

  • Tool

    New Guide to Help Implement College Programs in Prisons

    Education services can improve the lives and conditions of people in prison and help them compete for jobs when they are released. A new tool aims to guide corrections officials who are considering whether to start a college program or are looking for information to ensure the success of an existing program.

    Jun 29, 2021

  • Commentary

    Higher Education Programs in Prison Reduce Recidivism

    Evidence shows that correctional education programs are effective—and cost-effective—at improving employment outcomes for participants and at helping to keep them from returning to prison. But given limited budgets, how can the long-term funding of these programs be sustained?

    Aug 28, 2019

  • Report

    Lessons from a Prison-Based College Program That Continues After Release

    A prison-based program offered individuals college classes during the final two years of their incarceration and support for another two years after release to help them achieve their degree or certificate goal. How well did the program work?

    May 22, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Education for Incarcerated Juveniles

    Because youth typically cannot attend their local schools while incarcerated, correctional facilities must provide alternative education. This meta-analysis aims to help policymakers understand what works in juvenile correctional education.

    Jul 3, 2018

  • Journal Article

    Does Providing Inmates with Education Improve Postrelease Outcomes?

    A meta-analysis of 37 years of research on correctional education found that found that inmates who took part in education programs were 28 percent less likely to re-offend as inmates who did not, but had the same chance of obtaining post-release employment.

    Jul 3, 2018

  • Essay

    The Case for Correctional Education in U.S. Prisons

    Inmates who participate in any kind of educational program behind bars are up to 43 percent less likely to reoffend and return to prison. They also appear to be far more likely to find a job after their release.

    Jan 3, 2016

  • Commentary

    The State of Washington and Its Focus on Rehabilitation

    California can learn a great deal from the state of Washington, which has implemented a series of reforms focused on rehabilitation—on diverting offenders to treatment and other options and making serving time in prison the last option.

    Sep 16, 2014

  • Commentary

    If You Want Ex-Cons to Be 'Productive Members of Society,' Ban the Box

    When an inmate is released, you often hear Americans say that he's “paid his debt” and can now become “a productive member of society.” But the reality is ex-cons pay for their crimes long after sentences end. On the outside, the stigma of incarceration makes it extremely difficult to land a job.

    Sep 5, 2014

  • Commentary

    Sending Prisoners to College Will Save You Money

    Correctional education works for states because it saves money and shrinks prison populations. It works for prisoners, the public, law enforcement, and the judicial system because educated prisoners are less likely to return to their criminal ways once released.

    Apr 11, 2014

  • Report

    Prison-Based Education Declined During Economic Downturn

    Large states cut spending on prison education programs by an average of 10 percent between the 2009 and 2012 fiscal years, while medium-sized states cut spending by 20 percent. While the drop appears to have resulted from budget cuts prompted by the economic downturn, evidence suggests that the curtailment of prison education could increase prison system costs in the longer term.

    Feb 18, 2014

  • Research Brief

    How Correctional Education Could Move Forward

    Correctional education improves the chances that inmates released from prison will not return and may improve their chances of postrelease employment. A survey of U.S. state correctional education directors and a review of programs offers recommendations for improving correctional education.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • Infographic

    Are Prisoners Serving Time or Wasting Time?

    A comprehensive literature review enabled the examination of the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment upon release from prison, and the cost-effectiveness of correctional education.

    Nov 26, 2013

  • Report

    Education and Vocational Training in Prisons Reduces Recidivism, Improves Job Outlook

    Inmates who participate in correctional education programs have a 43 percent lower odds of returning to prison than those who do not. Employment after release is 13 percent higher among prisoners who participated in either academic or vocational education programs than those who did not.

    Aug 22, 2013