Education is one of the key differentiators that can lower the recidivism rate and increase the likelihood of successful reentry for incarcerated individuals and returning citizens. Recently, after 26 years, Congressional leaders passed a bill that reinstated Pell grants for prison education programs and incarcerated students who take part in them.
“I am extremely pleased that our lawmakers recognized that we could no longer limit the educational opportunities available to incarcerated individuals,” said Deb Alderson, GTL President & CEO. “My support of this bill is based in fact—we have seen firsthand how education positively impacts incarcerated individuals. GTL has long facilitated the use of education in prisons through our tablet program and partnerships with content providers and non-profit organizations, such as EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, the Brian Hamilton Foundation, and others.”
In addition to restoring Pell grant eligibility for incarcerated students, the bill also repeals a 22-year-old law that restricted federal financial aid for college students who were convicted of a drug crime. Now more individuals, both incarcerated and already released, can access Federal Pell grants, which are available to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and can assist in the reduction of recidivism and improvement of post-incarceration employment options.