Source: Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Author: Lois Elfman
Despite research indicating that access to higher education by incarcerated individuals reduces recidivism rates, those individuals are still unable to access Pell Grants to fund such education.
This week, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) released the report “Supporting Success: The Higher Education in Prison Key Performance Indicator Framework,” which outlines a comprehensive set of performance indicators to properly identify and benchmark higher education in prison (HEP) programs.
People of color and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. Nearly 94% of incarcerated people in prisons throughout the U.S. do not have a postsecondary degree. Existing research shows earning a degree improves their chances upon release of achieving meaningful employment, stable housing and reintegration into communities.
In response to a call for more data to inform discussions, IHEP assembled an advisory council of HEP practitioners and researchers in the field to help inform and develop the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) framework. Incarcerated individuals currently enrolled in HEP programs and former inmates who participated in HEP were interviewed. The work was supported by Ascendium Education Group.
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