If Prison Is About Rehabilitation, Why Prevent Education?
A Pell Grant program was created in 1972 as a resource for students who couldn’t afford college. This included prisoners.
In 1994, Bill Clinton’s Crime Bill made EVERYTHING worse.
Originally written by Joe Biden, the Crime Bill was disastrous for Black communities. In addition to increasing police terror and prison populations, it BANNED Pell Grants for prisoners - even though access to education DECREASES crime! They just didn’t care.
The Intercept reports that “some 60 percent of individuals in prison will not get any in-prison educational opportunities beyond a GED” even though “in 2014, seventy percent of people in prison expressed a desire to pursue postsecondary education.”
According to the Vera Institute, almost half a million people in prison could benefit from Pell Grants.
At the state level and local level, there are opportunities for prisoners to obtain higher education while locked up. Still, the Pell Grant could make education more accessible.
According to a 2013 study from RAND, prisoners who participated in postsecondary education programs are almost 50% less likely to re-offend!
Black communities already suffer from underfunded and neglected schools. We’re disproportionately arrested and imprisoned by a racist criminal justice system. And now when we’re incarcerated, we can’t even access education easily in prison… unless, perhaps, the Pell Grant ban is lifted.
We have a quick favor to ask:
PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:
- We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
- We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
- We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.
And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.
With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please donate now?