A new report by the RAND Corporation finds that educating inmates while in prison could significantly cut their odds of coming back. According to RAND researchers, prisoners who took part in adult education courses, including both basic and vocational ed, were 43 percent less likely to commit another crime that would land them back behind bars.
These findings are good news for policymakers wrestling with the problem of recidivism – of the roughly 700,000 people who leave a state or federal prison each year, 40 percent of them will be back within three years of their release. Many of these inmates lack the education or skills to land a job when they get out. RAND finds that more than a third of inmates are high school drop-outs, and only 14 percent of prisoners have had some sort of post-secondary education – compared to 51 percent for the general population. Inmates who took part in an educational program while in prison, however, were more likely to find jobs when they got out.
The researchers also argue that prison education is a good bet for state and federal budgets as well. They estimated that for every 100 prisoners who receive an education in prison (at an average direct cost of $1,400 – $1,744 per inmate), governments could save as much $970,000 in three-year incarceration costs.
Read the full report HERE.
Posted March 2014
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