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African American in Prison

Source: Doug Berry / Getty

According to the LA Times,1.5 million people are incarcerated throughout the United States. When those on parole or probation are included, nearly 7 million are confined by some sort of correctional supervision. Each year, 700,000 are released but many of these individuals will become incarcerated again because the prison rehabilitation programs have become seemingly nonexistent.

Within President Obama‘s last year in office, he has been committed to passing legislation that provides criminal justice reform. The White House recently announced that funding will be made available to provide a federal education to prison inmates.

The Obama Administration’s “Second Chance Pell Pilot Program” will restore educational Pell Grants to state and federal prisons. Funding was previously revoked by Congress in 1994.

“Launching a pilot program to help students in prison pay for college, because everyone willing to work for it deserves a second chance” tweeted Obama.

Four community colleges will offer inmates within four California prisons the chance to earn an associate degree in liberal arts. Students will be able to take up to three courses per semester from a curriculum that focuses on business and entrepreneurship.

A 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Justice, found that inmates who participated in educational programs were 43% less likely to return to prison. Additionally, the study found that every dollar invested in prison education programs saved nearly $5 on later incarceration costs.

Source: LA Times

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