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Our philanthropy addresses barriers facing currently incarcerated adults who don’t have equitable access to high-quality postsecondary education.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the prison population in the U.S. has skyrocketed in recent decades, with one in a hundred adults—about 2.3 million—currently incarcerated. Nearly all of those individuals will return to their communities at some point, and research has demonstrated that postsecondary education dramatically improves the odds of successful reentry into the community and the labor force.
However, access to programs and cost of programs are obstacles, and often the programming is disconnected from career opportunities.
The majority of incarcerated individuals—64%—have a high school credential. They’re academically eligible for a postsecondary education program; but for most, it’s out of reach. Unfortunately, 93% of colleges don’t provide higher education in prison. Of those that do provide programs, many have limited capacity to serve all interested individuals.
Our aim is to support initiatives that can help the field better understand what types of postsecondary education in prison programs are effective, how to forge the systemic and institutional partnerships needed to get them in place, and how to spread and sustain best practices on a broad scale in order to catalyze genuine systemic change.
Our system-level outcomes include: development of robust state and national partnerships to share data, best practices and outcome metrics; an increase in the number of eligible incarcerated students able to enroll and complete programs; and the creation of postsecondary options that offer high quality instruction and curricula, leveraging technology for student access and success.
We fund initiatives that help develop systems and best practices for high-quality postsecondary education in prison. This means collaboration between partners in the field to ask the right questions, share best practices and data, and remove institutional barriers to program quality, accessibility and student success.