Prison Education, Postsecondary Correctional Education, Reentry
In 2013, the Vera Institute of Justice launched the Unlocking Potential: Pathways from Prison to Postsecondary Education Project (Pathways), a five-year multi-state demonstration project aiming to increase educational attainment and employment opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals by supporting an expansion of educational opportunities in prison. Corrections departments in the states of New Jersey, Michigan, and North Carolina were selected to participate in the initiative. Each college-in-prison program—although executed differently and offering varying programs of study—possessed one common theme: to equip incarcerated persons with the tools necessary to end the cycle of incarceration through high-quality postsecondary education. This paper examines approaches to student recruitment the Michigan site took during its implementation phase and suggests potential outcomes for college-in-prison programs to consider when using the “return communities” approach.
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