Educating Prisoners: The Economic Power of a Second Chance


The only lessons most of America’s 2.3 million inmates learn in prison are about how to survive behind bars. The lucky few with access to formal education and career certification programs during incarceration have the opportunity to build skills and credentials that will help them succeed upon release. The need for additional prison education — both secondary and postsecondary — is great: Only 16 percent of state prisoners have a high school diploma.

The lack of educational services in many prisons is an undercovered issue on the education beat. In this webinar, journalists who have produced enterprising coverage, plus a researcher, discuss the issue. They explore what the public needs to know and how reporters can find data and other resources to shine a light on this important subject. What do recent studies reveal about prison education programs? Why is there growing bipartisan support for letting more prisoners tap federal Pell Grants to pay for college classes? The participants address these and other questions.

This webinar was presented on August 1, 2019.