Prisoner Education Programs: Readiness Over Recidivism

October 2, 2020

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Title: Supporting Success: The Higher Education Prison Key Performance Indicator Framework

Authors: Michael Scott Brick and Julie Ajinkya

Source: Institute for Higher Education Policy

A new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) details how postsecondary education could transform the lives of incarcerated individuals throughout the United States. According to the report, 94 percent of incarcerated individuals do not have a postsecondary degree.

The authors describe the IHEP Higher Education in Prison Key Performance Indicators (KPI) framework, which provides specific metrics useful in developing and evaluating these programs. Also included are descriptions of initiatives in Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey that highlight how prison higher education programs operate and the roles and contributions of a variety of stakeholders.

The KPI framework highlights four categories to measure program impact: 1) student success outcomes, 2) academic quality, 3) civic engagement, and 4) soft skill development. The overall framework demonstrates that the benefits of a postsecondary education for incarcerated people extend well beyond reduced rates of recidivism.

The report concludes with specific recommendations for stakeholders including practitioners, correctional administrators, and policymakers at both the state and federal levels.

To read and download the full report, click here.

—Charles Sanchez

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