Last year when changes to the GED programs were first announced, analysts predicted it would have a serious impact on the ability of prisoners to acquire their certificates. A year later, those predictions have proven accurate. Prison GED success rates have dropped dramatically, in some places up to 82% since the system switched over. To begin, the content
San Quentin is home to the Prison University Project, the largest on-site college-in-prison program among California state prisons. Inmates in PUP earn their associate’s degree for free, with volunteer instructors from schools like Stanford and UC Berkeley.
Opponents of higher education in prison, like those who voted down a proposal in New York earlier this year, say it’s wrong to give a taxpayer-funded degree to convicts. Some are fine with providing remedial and vocational education, but draw the line at college, a commodity families sacrifice thousands of dollars to give their children.