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Research and Data

California Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education

Renewing Communities published a paper summarizing their work to increase access and success for justice-involved students in California’s public colleges and universities. The paper highlights key facts about mass incarceration in California, the impacts of education on recidivism, and the multi-strategy approach Renewing Communities is using to accomplish their goals.

Degrees of Freedom Report

Degrees of Freedom: Expanding College Opportunities for Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Californians, by Debbie A. Mukamal, Rebecca Silbert, and Rebecca Taylor is based on over 175 interviews, academic research, and historical investigation. The report profiles existing programs and identifies recommendations for California to take to build effective college pathways that will help these underserved students become college graduates.

Data Summary: Formerly Incarcerated Student Programs at California Community Colleges

73 of the 114 California Community Colleges completed a survey on campus programming for formerly incarcerated students. Here are the results of that survey. 

Bakersfield College Inmate Scholars Program Fact Sheet

The Inmate Scholars Program at Bakersfield College created a Fact Sheet to report upon the services and courses that their program offers, demographics of students served, the level of success that their students have achieved so far. 

CLASP’s Reconnecting Justice: Lessons Learned and the Agenda Ahead Report

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) published a report, by Duy Pham and Wayne Taliaferro, that illustrates key takeaways from their October 2016 forum, Reconnecting Justice: Pathways to Effective Reentry through Education and Training. The report focuses on the intersections of criminal justice, incarceration, and education, the positive impact of investments in correctional education, job training and supportive reentry services for communities with high incarceration rates, and includes federal and state policy recommendations. This report includes examples from California’s legislation and model practices in correctional education.

Striving for Success

Justice impacted students in California community colleges are succeeding academically across multiple dimensions. In particular, justice impacted students are achieving greater success and similar if not higher grades compared to their main campus counterparts. For a rundown on this data and more, read our new report by Rebecca Silbert and Debbie Mukamal.

Equity and Excellence in Practice

Equity and Excellence in Practice: A Guide for Higher Education in Prison by Tanya Erzen, Mary R. Gould, and Jody Lewen documents the key characteristics of high-quality prison higher education programs, and informs stakeholders in the field, including new and experienced practitioners seeking to achieve equity and excellence in their work, policy leaders, philanthropy, and others. This study is a joint project of the Prison University Project and the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.

RAND Meta-Analysis of Correctional Education

RAND Corporation conducted a meta-analysis to examine the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment after release from prison, and learning in math and in reading. A key finding is that individuals who participated in college programs while incarcerated had 51% lower odds of recidivating than those who did not. 

Clean Slate Clearinghouse

The Clean Slate Clearinghouse?a project funded by, and developed in partnership with, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)?has created a website to help support juvenile and adult criminal record clearance around the country.

Investing In Futures: Economic and Fiscal Benefits of PostSecondary Education in Prison

This report from the Vera Institute of Justice and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality presents evidence that recommends a repeal of the federal ban on Pell Grants for people in prison. The report details an array of benefits that postsecondary education in prison programs could have on individuals, communities, and the economy.