Restoring Pell Grants for Prisoners -- Growing Momentum for Reform
The State of Criminal Justice 2016 (American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section 2016).
6 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2016
Date Written: July 25, 2016
This chapter explores the growing momentum for reforming higher education in prison. Specifically, it focuses on advocacy efforts to restore Pell Grants for prisoners. The chapter begins with a brief history of the law that precluded prisoners from this source of funding and considers how the law affected higher education in prison. Next, it assesses whether the ban has brought any tangible benefit to the penal system or society. The uncertainties in this area are contrasted with the documented benefits of education in prison. Finally, the chapter examines recent advocacy efforts that have breathed new life into this issue. Taken wholly, the evidence suggests that the time is ripe for prisoners to have Pell eligibility restored. When the ban was enacted, there were voices decrying the move as a mistake, today, however, they are stronger, armed with better knowledge, and more determined than ever to create change.
Keywords: Prisoners, Pell Grant, Higher Education, Post Secondary Education, REAL Act, Donna Edwards
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