Reversing the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Building College Pathways From Rikers Island

By Aviva Teva and Ray Tebout – Huffington Post
We know from data and personal experience that expanding college access and supports is a cost-effective recidivism reduction and public safety strategy that will foster the transformation of entire communities. In August, the RAND Corporation published a meta-analysis of 30 years of research on correctional education in the U.S., showing that inmates who participate in education programs are 43% less likely to recidivate than inmates who do not and post-release employment was 13% higher for those who had participated in education while incarcerated. Education opportunities and supports in criminal justice and reentry settings, often known as “reentry education,” and postsecondary reentry education in particular is a powerful poverty reduction and justice reinvestment approach that addresses historic injustices within both the criminal justice and education systems. The New York Reentry Education Network (NYREN) is a network of community-based reentry service providers that partner with government agencies and academic institutions in New York City to center education in reentry and mobilize for systems change, including expanding college access to individuals involved in the criminal justice system.

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