GTL Invests in Education

At GTL, we understand why people are hesitant to invest in education for inmates. People often ask, “Why should I pay for prisoners to get a college education, while I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck?” Our response is that educating our inmates saves taxpayer money that would be otherwise spent on the costs of incarcerating inmates. It’s an investment we make today that will save us money down the line.

It’s clear that taxpayers pay far too much to incarcerate inmates in the United States. Corrections expenditures have nearly quadrupled over the past two decades. In 2012, incarceration cost taxpayers $39 billion, $5.4 billion more than the $33.5 billion reflected in corrections budgets alone.


  

The cost of incarceration is so high because inmates frequently find themselves stuck in a cycle of incarceration, rearrest, and return to prison. A National Institute of Justice study found that within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were rearrested. However, if we can break that cycle and prevent inmates from returning to prison, we can provide relief to taxpayers who are forced shoulder the costs associated with incarceration.

Education can help break this cycle. Providing inmates with an education drastically reduces the likelihood that they will reoffend and return to prison. For example, when inmates receive vocational training, the recidivism rate drops to approximately 30%. With an associate’s degree, recidivism drops to 13.7%, and with a bachelor’s degree, it drops to 5.6%. Once an inmate receives a master’s degree, the recidivism rate is so low that it’s effectively 0%. It’s simple – if inmates can live a meaningful, productive lives after serving their sentences, taxpayers won’t be forced to pay for their incarceration.

  

Data shows that investing in inmate education pays off. A recent study from Lois Davis of the RAND Corporation found that for every dollar spent on inmate education programs, between four and five dollars are saved on reincarceration costs.

Our efforts in Colorado are just the beginning. Within the next five to ten years, we hope to reach 1,000,000 inmates, providing them with access to education and opportunities for a better life after they’ve served their time.

  

Ultimately, it is a false choice to suggest that Americans must choose between educating our prisoners and taking money from the non-incarcerated. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Investing in inmate education will save taxpayers money that would otherwise be spent on incarceration costs, and prepare the incarcerated to live productive, meaningful lives after their release.

Click here to download the full infographic to share with your networks and help us spread the word about the benefits of educating inmates.

  

 

 

June 2, 2017 / Blog

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GTL Invests in Education

In the push to reduce the recidivism rate, correctional facilities are moving away from a traditional layout to one that is designed for inclusiveness and keeping inmates engaged with outside society. Studies have shown that maintaining a support structure is a key component to keeping inmates on the right path to successful reintegration into society after release. In Australia, a new maximum security prison opened this year that includes no cells. Instead, inmates are housed in dormitory-style accommodations with 25 inmates in 16 ‘pods’ that offer more access to education, entertainment, and communication with friends and families. This novel move seeks to enhance inmates’ daily lives by making these services more accessible and improve re-integration into society. Inmates have access to technology that connects them with friends and family members, news, books, movies, education, games, and more. They are required to work for up to five hours during the day and pursue education and other programs in the remaining time. This progressive approach aligns with GTL’s vision of technology and education being available to every inmate. “GTL has the technology portfolio to enable correctional facilities to execute their strategies,” said Gad Tobaly, President, GTL International. “Whether those strategies are similar to the open-plan jail approach or focus on a more traditional environment, we offer the innovations to help facilities become safer and more secure while providing inmates with access to programs that improve their lives during and after incarceration.” GTL creates new technologies and advocates for tablets, education, and other programs to help reduce recidivism rates. “These new facilities highlight the need for technology in corrections,” said Eric Gonzalez, Executive Director, Technology and Implementation Services. “Today’s inmates are digital natives, having grown up in the age of computers, cell phones, tablets, and more. It is only logical that providing them with technology and programs to learn and better themselves through those access points is the direction that corrections is taking.” As part of GTL’s ongoing mission to keep our offerings in line with global corrections trends, the company will once again be a sponsor at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) Annual Conference. This year’s conference is being held at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain in Montreal, Canada. The conference theme of “Beyond Prisons: The Way Forward” will draw discussion on the underpinning philosophies, strategic direction, policies, and practices being instituted across the globe. More than 500 delegates from over 70 countries attend this prestigious conference. GTL and two collaborating organizations will present on two topics that relate to the use of technology in aiding the corrections and criminal justice systems. “Transforming the Inmate Environment: How and Why Facilities are Implementing Tablet Programs” will discuss how technology is used to humanize correctional efforts and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. “Virtual-Enabled Justice: Delivering Swifter Outcomes and Improved Victim and Witness Experience” will discuss the use of technology to create ‘virtual courts’ that fuel efficiency, safety, and security, and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 3:30 p.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. To learn more about our technology solutions, contact GTL today.