College-in-Prison Reentry Programs

Posted in: Diversion and Reentry Support, Funded Initiatives, News

Posted on August 7, 2017

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced the award of $7.3 million to fund educational programming and reentry services at 17 New York State prisons over the next five years. It will create more than 2,500 seats for college-level education and training for incarcerated New Yorkers in 17 correctional facilities. This program will significantly increase the likelihood of successful reentry into the community thereby reducing recidivism rates across the state.

Providing education in prisons is crucial in preparing that person for a successful reentry into the community, reduce the rate of recidivism, and improve public safety. A study conducted by The Rand Corporation in 2013 ‎found that individuals who participate in prison education programs are 43% less likely to recidivate and return to prison, and 13% more likely to obtain employment after their release.

Just over 1,000 incarcerated individuals in New York State presently receive college-level instruction each year. The College-in-Prison Reentry Program will increase that number by 500-600 per year through a combination of CJII grant and matching funds. Participants will have the opportunity to receive college-level instruction and earn an Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or industry-recognized certificate. To qualify for the Program, incarcerated individuals must have no more than five years remaining on their prison sentence.

The colleges and universities being awarded grants to provide classes and reentry services are:

The CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, technical assistance provider to the Manhattan DA’s Office on all of CJII, will work with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to oversee the program’s daily operations, working directly with the education providers.

The CUNY Prisoner Reentry Institute, in collaboration with the State University of New York, will receive approximately $2.37 million over five years to serve as the Education and Reentry Coordinator for the Program. The Education and Reentry Coordinator will oversee the education providers’ reentry planning and offer technical assistance as needed; align course requirements across and develop articulation/transfer agreements between funded colleges; develop standards for prison education curricula in New York State; and exchange best practices and lessons learned among the education providers.

The announcement of these grantees follows an open-solicitation, Request for Proposals and review process led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and facilitated by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), CJII’s technical assistance provider. The College-in-Prison Reentry Program is being funded through the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII).

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