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The Impacts of College-in-Prison Participation on Safety and Employment in New York State: An Analysis of College Students Funded by the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative

Access to education is in high demand among the incarcerated population. There are clear benefits to students who are incarcerated, their families and communities, public safety, and safety inside prisons. Yet the gap in educational aspirations and participation has been largely driven by a lack of capacity due to limited funding.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative funded the College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative (CIP) to close this gap by expanding access to college education in prisons throughout New York State. In this report, Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) researchers unpack the impact of participation in degree programs offered by seven colleges participating in CIP and reveal the effects that college in prison can have on in-facility behavior, recidivism, employment, and income after release. Vera additionally presents a cost analysis of program delivery and potential expansion, in order to better understand the potential return on investment of such initiatives.

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The Impacts of College-in-Prison Participation on Safety and Employment in New York State: An Analysis of College Students Funded by the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative

Access to education is in high demand among the incarcerated population. There are clear benefits to students who are incarcerated, their families and communities, public safety, and safety inside prisons. Yet the gap in educational aspirations and participation has been largely driven by a lack of capacity due to limited funding.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative funded the College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative (CIP) to close this gap by expanding access to college education in prisons throughout New York State. In this report, Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) researchers unpack the impact of participation in degree programs offered by seven colleges participating in CIP and reveal the effects that college in prison can have on in-facility behavior, recidivism, employment, and income after release. Vera additionally presents a cost analysis of program delivery and potential expansion, in order to better understand the potential return on investment of such initiatives.

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The Impacts of College-in-Prison Participation on Safety and Employment in New York State: An Analysis of College Students Funded by the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative

Access to education is in high demand among the incarcerated population. There are clear benefits to students who are incarcerated, their families and communities, public safety, and safety inside prisons. Yet the gap in educational aspirations and participation has been largely driven by a lack of capacity due to limited funding.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative funded the College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative (CIP) to close this gap by expanding access to college education in prisons throughout New York State. In this report, Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) researchers unpack the impact of participation in degree programs offered by seven colleges participating in CIP and reveal the effects that college in prison can have on in-facility behavior, recidivism, employment, and income after release. Vera additionally presents a cost analysis of program delivery and potential expansion, in order to better understand the potential return on investment of such initiatives.

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How State Higher Ed Leaders Are Expanding College in Prison

This story from Margaret diZerega, Initiative Director for the Vera Institute of Justice's Center for Sentencing and Corrections and Unlocking Potential and Hannah Eddy, Communications Manager for Unlocking Potential, discusses the "closed doors" many individuals with a criminal record face in pursuing post-secondary education and highlights the forthcoming reinstatement of federal need-based financial aid—or Pell Grants—for people in prison as a solution with the potential to open many doors come July 1, 2023.

As the story explores, across the United States, education and corrections leaders are preparing for a wave of new colleges, particularly four-year universities, to launch programs in prisons. The authors discuss that, anticipating this new opportunity to expand access, states like Colorado and Tennessee have begun to bring together four-year and community colleges, departments of corrections, education-focused nonprofits, and—for the first time—state departments of higher education to foster communication among these partners, improve collaboration, and begin creating more effective state systems for higher education in prisons.

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Second Chance Act Reentry Education and Employment Fact Sheet

This fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance provides information on the following three current Second Chance Act investments that support education and employment reentry strategies in 28 states and jurisdictions: the FY 2018 Adult Reentry and Employment Strategic Planning Program (ARES); the FY 2020 Correctional Adult Reentry Education, Employment, and Recidivism Reduction Strategies Program (CAREERRS); and the FY 2021 Adult Reentry Education, Employment, Treatment, and Recovery Program.

The fact sheet discusses eligibility, funding amounts, allowable use of funds, award periods, and highlights a grantee for each of the aforementioned Second Chance Act investments.

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Fact Sheet on Changes to Protect Veterans, Students, and Taxpayers and Support Incarcerated Students

In October 2022, the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations for the federal Pell Grant program that promote accountability, expand college access to students who are incarcerated, and strengthen protection for veterans, service members, students, and borrowers.

This fact sheet includes additional details on the major provisions of the rule and changes made in response to public comment.

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Incarcerated Workers in the U.S are part of a hidden workforce linked to hundreds of popular food brands

AP's investigation reveals a hidden truth: U.S. prison labor fuels major food brands. From Frosted Flakes to Coca-Cola, products in our everyday supermarkets are linked to a multibillion-dollar empire built on the backs of currently incarcerated people, often working for little or no pay. Programs like the Education in Action initiative (EiA), are crucial to ensure that we are empowering workers on the inside - through educational opportunities and fair work experiences, let's challenge the possibilities of what's possible when we think about prisoner labor.

https://apnews.com/article/prison-to-plate-inmate-labor-investigation-c6f0eb4747963283316e494eadf08c4e 

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TODAY - Jan 31! Webinar on Financial Aid

TODAY!  On January 31 from 2:00 - 3:15 ET, NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) will host a free and publicly available webinar. See below for a description and links to register.

Workshop: Completing the Paper 24/25 FAFSA with Students Who Are Incarcerated

Financial Aid advising is an essential component of Prison Education Programs (PEPs). Many PEPs rely on the paper FAFSA when serving students who are incarcerated. We expect many new Prison Education Programs (PEPs) will enroll their first students in the Fall of 2024.  The challenge of introducing PEP work at the same time as FAFSA Simplification implementation crescendos will create a challenge for financial aid staff as well as PEP administrators. During this workshop, we will walk through the FAFSA completion process, highlighting the most complex form and verification questions. We will also talk about the methods for processing those paper FAFSAs. Both financial aid teams and prison program administrators will join the conversation and welcome your questions.

The direct link for participants to register for the Completing the Paper 2024-25 FAFSA with Students Who Are Incarcerated Workshop is: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/4463509/F1C5A03976B02902CA10C4A17A7FBAA1.

Individuals may also register from the NASFAA website as well: https://www.nasfaa.org/paper_fafsa_students_incarcerated_jan24

 

This work is generously funded by a grant from Ascendium Education Group.

Patrick W. Berry headshot

Event: Mend Launch Party

All— 

As some of you know, we've been working on the second edition of Mend, a journal that celebrates the work of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people and their families. It is also a publication created by justice-impacted people in Syracuse, New York. 

Our launch party will take place on Saturday, February 17, at the Syracuse Central Library, from 12-1:30 p.m. ET and on Zoom. Please consider joining us. The event is open to the public.  

MEND JOURNAL LAUNCH PARTY

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17

12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET

SYRACUSE CENTRAL LIBRARY

COMMUNITY ROOM

447 S. Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13202

and on Zoom. You can register here: http://tinyurl.com/453s2krk

 

COMMUNITY…CREATIVITY…AND FOOD

The event will feature readings and recognitions of this year’s cohort.  

Project Mend is made possible through collaboration with the Center for Community Alternatives and through an HNY Post-Incarceration Humanities Partnership, which is generously supported by the Mellon Foundation. Also, the project has been supported at Syracuse University by the Engaged Humanities Network, the Humanities Center, the SOURCE, the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition, and a CUSE Research Grant. For accessibility accommodations, please contact Patrick W. Berry at pwberry@syr.edu by February 9.

 

—Patrick

Victoria Scott

Educational Justice: Maine State Prison's Cohort of MIT Computer Tech courses

I am so proud of the men at Maine State Prison for completing and sustaining this computer technology program! This is exactly the type of programming and equality that prison education needs to normalize to offer incarcerated students tech savvy, marketable skills and to give equity to tech spaces for incarcerated people.

The Educational Justice Institute and RAISE at MIT have been faithfully offering web design, computer programming, and app invention classes for years, not only in Maine, but to mixed cohorts in facilities from various states.

In addition to the MIT App Inventor class, there have been several sessions of the BRAVE Behind Bars web-design and coding course for Women at Maine Correctional Center and the Southern Maine Women's Reentry Center, and Python coding courses, all of which are conducted by MIT graduate students in concert with The Educational Justice Institute.

Mind, Hand, and Heart: MIT at Its Very Best

MIT App Inventor and MIT RAISE's Maine State Prison Education Program

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Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Policy and Regulatory Guidance Prison Education Programs (PEPs)

On October 28, 2022, the United States Department of Education (USDE) published final regulations that provide a framework for how to implement Pell reinstatement and ensure highquality postsecondary education in correctional facilities. The regulations will take effect on July 1, 2023. Specifically, the FAFSA Simplification Act, passed on December 27, 2020, restored Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students. Now, for the first time since the 1990s, people who are confined or incarcerated who are enrolled in an eligible prison education program (PEP) will be able to access federal financial assistance through the Pell Grant program. This document provides guidance on how students who are confined or incarcerated can access federal Pell grants. 

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What Does the FAFSA Simplification Act Address for Incarcerated Applicants?

The 1994 Crime Bill barred incarcerated students from receiving Pell Grants. In 2015, the Second Chance
Pell Experiment began allowing a select number of institutions of higher education to provide Pell Grants to eligible incarcerated students. The Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison conducted at three-year study with participants at select Second Chance Pell sites to learn about their experiences with implementation. Administrators, program leaders, as well as currently and formerly incarcerated students and alumni participating in our Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell study identified numerous challenges that they face in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and accessing Pell Grants in their current form. The challenges that study participants articulated are listed in the first column of the chart below.

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What Does the FAFSA Simplification Act Address for Incarcerated Applicants?

The 1994 Crime Bill barred incarcerated students from receiving Pell Grants. In 2015, the Second Chance
Pell Experiment began allowing a select number of institutions of higher education to provide Pell Grants to eligible incarcerated students. The Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison conducted at three-year study with participants at select Second Chance Pell sites to learn about their experiences with implementation. Administrators, program leaders, as well as currently and formerly incarcerated students and alumni participating in our Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell study identified numerous challenges that they face in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and accessing Pell Grants in their current form. The challenges that study participants articulated are listed in the first column of the chart below.

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Most Frequently Asked Questions About Pell Grants from Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Students and Alumni

Passed in December 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act amendments eliminate the 1994 ban on Pell Grants for students in state and federal prisons; incarcerated students who enroll in approved prison education programs will be able to access Pell beginning in 2023. From fall 2021 to spring 2022, the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah conducted 21 focus groups with over 100 currently or formerly incarcerated students and alumni. These students are among the few who have already received Pell Grants through the Second Chance Pell Experiment, launched in 2015. Below are the most frequently asked questions and answers from student and alumni focus groups, using the best available information as of October 2022. The larger project from which these data are drawn, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell, is a mixed methods research study examining the implementation and facilitation of the Second Chance Pell Experiment.

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Most Frequently Asked Questions About Pell Grants from Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Students and Alumni

Passed in December 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act amendments eliminate the 1994 ban on Pell Grants for students in state and federal prisons; incarcerated students who enroll in approved prison education programs will be able to access Pell beginning in 2023. From fall 2021 to spring 2022, the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah conducted 21 focus groups with over 100 currently or formerly incarcerated students and alumni. These students are among the few who have already received Pell Grants through the Second Chance Pell Experiment, launched in 2015. Below are the most frequently asked questions and answers from student and alumni focus groups, using the best available information as of October 2022. The larger project from which these data are drawn, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell, is a mixed methods research study examining the implementation and facilitation of the Second Chance Pell Experiment.

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Most Frequently Asked Questions About Pell Grants from Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Students and Alumni

Passed in December 2020, the FAFSA Simplification Act amendments eliminate the 1994 ban on Pell Grants for students in state and federal prisons; incarcerated students who enroll in approved prison education programs will be able to access Pell beginning in 2023. From fall 2021 to spring 2022, the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah conducted 21 focus groups with over 100 currently or formerly incarcerated students and alumni. These students are among the few who have already received Pell Grants through the Second Chance Pell Experiment, launched in 2015. Below are the most frequently asked questions and answers from student and alumni focus groups, using the best available information as of October 2022. The larger project from which these data are drawn, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell, is a mixed methods research study examining the implementation and facilitation of the Second Chance Pell Experiment.

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Cost Breakdowns and Award Letters: Tuition Statements and Bills from Nine Institutions Participating in Second Chance Pell

The research team asked if institutional leaders provide tuition statements to incarcerated students. If
so, the leaders were asked to provide de-identified student bills as part of their participation in the study. Five
institutions provided these documents. If they responded, the researchers described what each institution offered to their team. It is important to note that their team received this information and documents from administrators, not students. Thus, they cannot make claims regarding whether incarcerated students actually receive institutional tuition or billing statements.

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Cost Breakdowns and Award Letters: Tuition Statements and Bills from Nine Institutions Participating in Second Chance Pell

The research team asked if institutional leaders provide tuition statements to incarcerated students. If
so, the leaders were asked to provide de-identified student bills as part of their participation in the study. Five
institutions provided these documents. If they responded, the researchers described what each institution offered to their team. It is important to note that their team received this information and documents from administrators, not students. Thus, they cannot make claims regarding whether incarcerated students actually receive institutional tuition or billing statements.

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Cost Breakdowns and Award Letters: Tuition Statements and Bills from Nine Institutions Participating in Second Chance Pell

The research team asked if institutional leaders provide tuition statements to incarcerated students. If
so, the leaders were asked to provide de-identified student bills as part of their participation in the study. Five
institutions provided these documents. If they responded, the researchers described what each institution offered to their team. It is important to note that their team received this information and documents from administrators, not students. Thus, they cannot make claims regarding whether incarcerated students actually receive institutional tuition or billing statements.

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“Where Is the Refund Going?”: Second Chance Pell Recipient Perceptions of Federal Student Aid

This research brief draws on focus groups conducted by the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah with incarcerated students and formerly incarcerated alumni of prison higher education programs. The researchers examine the perceptions of federal student aid among student participants in the Second Chance Pell Experiment across four institutions. Specifically, they share perceptions of the communications students receive from program staff and administrators regarding financial aid, including FAFSA, tuition statements, and refunds. 

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“Where Is the Refund Going?”: Second Chance Pell Recipient Perceptions of Federal Student Aid

This research brief draws on focus groups conducted by the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah with incarcerated students and formerly incarcerated alumni of prison higher education programs. The researchers examine the perceptions of federal student aid among student participants in the Second Chance Pell Experiment across four institutions. Specifically, they share perceptions of the communications students receive from program staff and administrators regarding financial aid, including FAFSA, tuition statements, and refunds. 

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“Where Is the Refund Going?”: Second Chance Pell Recipient Perceptions of Federal Student Aid

This research brief draws on focus groups conducted by the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah with incarcerated students and formerly incarcerated alumni of prison higher education programs. The researchers examine the perceptions of federal student aid among student participants in the Second Chance Pell Experiment across four institutions. Specifically, they share perceptions of the communications students receive from program staff and administrators regarding financial aid, including FAFSA, tuition statements, and refunds. 

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“I Don’t Even Know What That Is”: Prison Higher Education Student and Alumni Understandings of the Pell Grant Among Four Institutions

This brief examines student and alumni understandings of federal student aid. Specifically, this brief explores their perceptions and understandings of the Pell Grant, eligibility for the Pell Grant - including lifetime eligibility used (LEU) limits - and how these percepeptions might influence students' postsecondary educational journeys. 

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“I Don’t Even Know What That Is”: Prison Higher Education Student and Alumni Understandings of the Pell Grant Among Four Institutions

This brief examines student and alumni understandings of federal student aid. Specifically, this brief explores their perceptions and understandings of the Pell Grant, eligibility for the Pell Grant - including lifetime eligibility used (LEU) limits - and how these percepeptions might influence students' postsecondary educational journeys. 

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“I Don’t Even Know What That Is”: Prison Higher Education Student and Alumni Understandings of the Pell Grant Among Four Institutions

This brief examines student and alumni understandings of federal student aid. Specifically, this brief explores their perceptions and understandings of the Pell Grant, eligibility for the Pell Grant - including lifetime eligibility used (LEU) limits - and how these percepeptions might influence students' postsecondary educational journeys. 

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“Why Do I Have to Pay for That?”: Pell Recipients on the Costs of Participating in Prison Higher Education

This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project,
Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here we highlight the perspectives of Pell recipients enrolled at four institutions of higher education participating in the federal Experiment. Specifically, we focus on students’ perceptions of the costs of postsecondary education and the Pell Grant. Overall, students report that they incur many expenses to participate in postsecondary education that are not covered by Pell. 

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“Why Do I Have to Pay for That?”: Pell Recipients on the Costs of Participating in Prison Higher Education

This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project,
Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here we highlight the perspectives of Pell recipients enrolled at four institutions of higher education participating in the federal Experiment. Specifically, we focus on students’ perceptions of the costs of postsecondary education and the Pell Grant. Overall, students report that they incur many expenses to participate in postsecondary education that are not covered by Pell. 

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“Why Do I Have to Pay for That?”: Pell Recipients on the Costs of Participating in Prison Higher Education

This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project,
Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here we highlight the perspectives of Pell recipients enrolled at four institutions of higher education participating in the federal Experiment. Specifically, we focus on students’ perceptions of the costs of postsecondary education and the Pell Grant. Overall, students report that they incur many expenses to participate in postsecondary education that are not covered by Pell. 

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“Pell Doesn’t Cover the Whole Thing”: Administrators on the Costs of Providing Prison Higher Education

This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here we draw from the perspectives of higher education administrators and practitioners participating in the federal Experiment. Specifically, we focus on their perceptions and experiences as to whether the Pell Grant adequately covers the costs of providing high-quality postsecondary education in prison. Unquestionably, administrators and practitioners report that the Pell Grant alone is insufficient. In particular, they remark that various costs associated with the program cannot be covered by Pell, including one of their greatest needs: staff necessary to support existing and prospective students. Consequently, personnel in this sample often take on responsibilities with the prison higher education program that fall outside of their contracted duties with the college or university. 

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“Pell Doesn’t Cover the Whole Thing”: Administrators on the Costs of Providing Prison Higher Education

This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here we draw from the perspectives of higher education administrators and practitioners participating in the federal Experiment. Specifically, we focus on their perceptions and experiences as to whether the Pell Grant adequately covers the costs of providing high-quality postsecondary education in prison. Unquestionably, administrators and practitioners report that the Pell Grant alone is insufficient. In particular, they remark that various costs associated with the program cannot be covered by Pell, including one of their greatest needs: staff necessary to support existing and prospective students. Consequently, personnel in this sample often take on responsibilities with the prison higher education program that fall outside of their contracted duties with the college or university. 

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“Pell Doesn’t Cover the Whole Thing”: Administrators on the Costs of Providing Prison Higher Education

This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here we draw from the perspectives of higher education administrators and practitioners participating in the federal Experiment. Specifically, we focus on their perceptions and experiences as to whether the Pell Grant adequately covers the costs of providing high-quality postsecondary education in prison. Unquestionably, administrators and practitioners report that the Pell Grant alone is insufficient. In particular, they remark that various costs associated with the program cannot be covered by Pell, including one of their greatest needs: staff necessary to support existing and prospective students. Consequently, personnel in this sample often take on responsibilities with the prison higher education program that fall outside of their contracted duties with the college or university. 

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Second Chance Pell Recipients at Four Institutions: A Brief Descriptive Analysis

The Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, launched in 2015, has already impacted the landscape of prison higher education by increasing the number of colleges and universities providing in-prison postsecondary education. This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here, we include data collected from the staff at four higher education institutions in financial aid, admissions, and registrar or related unit. The larger study focused on nine institutions participating in the Second Chance Pell Experiment. This brief focuses on a subset of four institutions that had the capacity to provide our research team with de-identified student data in a timely manner.

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Second Chance Pell Recipients at Four Institutions: A Brief Descriptive Analysis

The Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, launched in 2015, has already impacted the landscape of prison higher education by increasing the number of colleges and universities providing in-prison postsecondary education. This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here, we include data collected from the staff at four higher education institutions in financial aid, admissions, and registrar or related unit. The larger study focused on nine institutions participating in the Second Chance Pell Experiment. This brief focuses on a subset of four institutions that had the capacity to provide our research team with de-identified student data in a timely manner.

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Second Chance Pell Recipients at Four Institutions: A Brief Descriptive Analysis

The Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, launched in 2015, has already impacted the landscape of prison higher education by increasing the number of colleges and universities providing in-prison postsecondary education. This research brief draws upon three years of data collection through a national mixed-methods project, Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell. Here, we include data collected from the staff at four higher education institutions in financial aid, admissions, and registrar or related unit. The larger study focused on nine institutions participating in the Second Chance Pell Experiment. This brief focuses on a subset of four institutions that had the capacity to provide our research team with de-identified student data in a timely manner.

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“Who Can We Get Pell Approved?”: Administrator Perceptions and Practices Regarding Which Applicants Can Participate in Second Chance Pell

Launched in 2015, the Second Chance Pell Experiment allowed a select number of institutions of higher
education to provide Pell grants to incarcerated students. Seven years later, and on the cusp of Pell
expansion, there are a few noteworthy impacts of the Federal Experiment:
» As of 2022, up to 200 institutions of higher education can participate in the federal Experiment.
» Over 28,000 unduplicated students enrolled in postsecondary education through the Second Chance
   Pell Experiment from 2016-2021.
» Across the pilot’s first 2 years, institutions awarded approximately $35.6 million in Pell Grants to about
   8,800 incarcerated students.

A lesser known yet critical area of knowledge and understanding is how, specifically, some incarcerated
students are able to participate in the Experiment and others are not. At the heart of this inquiry is
certainly a question about college admissions, but one that is uniquely rooted in the context of equity
and opportunity during incarceration. Until recently, the ways that incarcerated people became part of
the Experiment were largely unknown beyond anecdotal information from practitioners and participants.
Consequently, serious questions about the Pell Grant in prison and issues of equity and access persist.

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“Who Can We Get Pell Approved?”: Administrator Perceptions and Practices Regarding Which Applicants Can Participate in Second Chance Pell

Launched in 2015, the Second Chance Pell Experiment allowed a select number of institutions of higher
education to provide Pell grants to incarcerated students. Seven years later, and on the cusp of Pell
expansion, there are a few noteworthy impacts of the Federal Experiment:
» As of 2022, up to 200 institutions of higher education can participate in the federal Experiment.
» Over 28,000 unduplicated students enrolled in postsecondary education through the Second Chance
   Pell Experiment from 2016-2021.
» Across the pilot’s first 2 years, institutions awarded approximately $35.6 million in Pell Grants to about
   8,800 incarcerated students.

A lesser known yet critical area of knowledge and understanding is how, specifically, some incarcerated
students are able to participate in the Experiment and others are not. At the heart of this inquiry is
certainly a question about college admissions, but one that is uniquely rooted in the context of equity
and opportunity during incarceration. Until recently, the ways that incarcerated people became part of
the Experiment were largely unknown beyond anecdotal information from practitioners and participants.
Consequently, serious questions about the Pell Grant in prison and issues of equity and access persist.

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“Who Can We Get Pell Approved?”: Administrator Perceptions and Practices Regarding Which Applicants Can Participate in Second Chance Pell

Launched in 2015, the Second Chance Pell Experiment allowed a select number of institutions of higher
education to provide Pell grants to incarcerated students. Seven years later, and on the cusp of Pell
expansion, there are a few noteworthy impacts of the Federal Experiment:
» As of 2022, up to 200 institutions of higher education can participate in the federal Experiment.
» Over 28,000 unduplicated students enrolled in postsecondary education through the Second Chance
   Pell Experiment from 2016-2021.
» Across the pilot’s first 2 years, institutions awarded approximately $35.6 million in Pell Grants to about
   8,800 incarcerated students.

A lesser known yet critical area of knowledge and understanding is how, specifically, some incarcerated
students are able to participate in the Experiment and others are not. At the heart of this inquiry is
certainly a question about college admissions, but one that is uniquely rooted in the context of equity
and opportunity during incarceration. Until recently, the ways that incarcerated people became part of
the Experiment were largely unknown beyond anecdotal information from practitioners and participants.
Consequently, serious questions about the Pell Grant in prison and issues of equity and access persist.

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Exploring The Experiences Of Participants In Second Chance Pell

Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell is a mixed methods research study examining the implementation and facilitation of the Second Chance Pell Experiment commenced in 2019 and includes data collected from staff, students, and alumni affiliated with nine higher education institutions. This brief provides an introduction and executive summary for all reports included in the series titled, Pell is Not Enough.

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Exploring The Experiences Of Participants In Second Chance Pell

Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell is a mixed methods research study examining the implementation and facilitation of the Second Chance Pell Experiment commenced in 2019 and includes data collected from staff, students, and alumni affiliated with nine higher education institutions. This brief provides an introduction and executive summary for all reports included in the series titled, Pell is Not Enough.

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Exploring The Experiences Of Participants In Second Chance Pell

Exploring the Experiences of Participants in Second Chance Pell is a mixed methods research study examining the implementation and facilitation of the Second Chance Pell Experiment commenced in 2019 and includes data collected from staff, students, and alumni affiliated with nine higher education institutions. This brief provides an introduction and executive summary for all reports included in the series titled, Pell is Not Enough.

State Softball with Harper

AIR is Hiring a Justice Equity Fellow!

American Institutes for Research (AIR) is seeking a Justice Equity Fellow focused on advancing justice and public health to join our 12-month Fellowship Program for the Youth, Family, & Community Development Program Area within AIR’s Human Services Division.  AIR’s work to advance justice and public health is committed to transformative change that dismantles structural disparities. Our mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. 

 

This linked description provides more details about the position. Please apply and/or share widely across your networks. Please also do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, suggestions, or would like additional information.  

 

The Justice Equity Fellowship Team at AIR 

Charrise Hollingsworth, chollingsworth@air.org 

Caitlin Dawkins, cdawkins@air.org 

Heather Erwin, herwin@air.org