Education in Prison: Does it Reduce Recidivism?

Shannon Gibson, Georgia State University

Recent federal legislation has denied Pell Grant funding to all state and federal inmates. While some studies have found no significant difference in recidivism rates of those who receive college education while in prison, numerous other studies have found that college education reduces recidivism. However, because numerous prisons have taken away college programs due to recent legislation, inmates are left with basic programs such as vocational training and GED instruction. Because this is the case, this study will compare those who receive these forms of education to those who receive the higher education still offered in some prisons. Specifically, I hypothesize that inmates who receive college education are less likely to recidivate when compared to inmates who receive the basic education alternatives. The findings of this study should support this hypothesis. Further, the findings of this study will suggest policy implications with regard to the denial of Pell Grants in prisons.

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Updated 05/20/2006