Postsecondary education is decentralized from regulation by the federal government and is essentially independent from it. Postsecondary education is often diverse because there are private and public institutions. Some institutions are small and affiliated with religious organizations, while others could be secular, rural, urban, or suburban.
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The U.S. labor market is changing fast. By 2018, an estimated two-thirds of job postings will require some level of postsecondary education. For incarcerated men and women already disadvantaged in the job market, higher education truly is a key to success after release.
Our pilot program in three states yielded lessons and evidence that the federal Department of Education and corrections agencies and colleges and universities around the country are now using to bring college into prison and continue to support people in their studies for two years after release. It’s an investment in personal transformation that pays off in increased employment and income—a boon for low-income families and communities—and no surprise, recidivism rates that studies suggest are as much as 72 percent lower.