We have awarded our final Phase 2 Grant to the RAND Corporation. The grant funding will be used to develop and publish an educational guidebook for correctional professionals that outlines best practices and considerations for implementing high quality college in prison programs.

The guidebook will focus on postsecondary academic programs that are intended to lead to college degrees (e.g., AA or BA). It will provide an overview of the key elements of the operating agreements which a college and correctional facility would enter into when starting such a program. These agreements define the relationship and commitment of resources from both corrections system and the colleges. These commitments could include administrative support by the college and correctional facility for the program, screening and orientation of college faculty, outlining the process for recruiting and screening of students,  developing protocols for students communicating with college staff, and spelling out policies for use of computers and library resources. As the federal government moves to reinstate Second Chance Pell for students in prison, and as individual states make similar investments in expanding prison education, the guidebook will serve as an essential resource for streamlining implementation and improving connectivity between correctional administrators and educators.

Providing higher education in prisons is a promising and increasingly well-recognized opportunity to improve reentry success, to improve corrections’ institutional culture, and to meet workforce development challenges for incarcerated individuals. It is also a strong deterrent for reincarceration. RAND’s meta-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of correctional education programs found that individuals who participate in college programs while incarcerated are half as likely to be reincarcerated than those who do not.

The Michelson 20MM Foundation and its initiatives are made possible by the generous support of Gary K. Michelson, M.D. and his wife, Alya Michelson. We will be conducting Phase 3 of the Michelson Spark Grant program on February 24, 2020. To learn more please visit our webpage or sign up for notifications via the form below.