Request for Proposals for Evaluation of College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative

Posted in: News, Past Opportunities

Posted on July 13, 2016

With funding from the Ford Foundation, the Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) solicited proposals for a rigorous evaluation of the College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative across multiple sites in New York State.

As part of its Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII), the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has committed $7.5 million to fund the College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative, which supports postsecondary, college-level instruction leading to certification or an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in New York State for a period of five years; and the establishment of an Education Coordinator to oversee and manage this work.

The evaluation will assess implementation and outcomes of the College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative, as well as assess program benefits relative to costs. In particular, the evaluation seeks to understand the effect of college programming on both recidivism and employment. The selected applicant will be expected to conduct the following:

  • A process evaluation of the College-in-Prison Reentry Initiative, including the role of the Education Coordinator in developing standards and coordinating student placement in the program; and the role of academic institutions in providing college instruction in prison
  • An outcome evaluation of students in the CJII-funded programs and from among the existing college-in-prison program sites that are determined to meet standard guidelines developed by the initiative’s Education Coordinator; and
  • A cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the potential economic benefits of college-in-prison programming outweigh its cost.

The evaluation will focus on participants within 1.5 to 5.5 years of their earliest possible release dates. This distribution of students is anticipated to permit an analysis of program effects for students who will not finish their degree programs in prison; students who, upon release, will be close to finishing their degree programs; and students who, upon release, will have finished their degree programs.. Thus, this structure will allow for understanding of shorter, medium, and longer-term program participation. The evaluation should also assess program effectiveness for students with different demographic and criminal characteristics. The results of this evaluation will inform future policy and funding decisions regarding education reentry programs in New York State and nationwide.

ISLG anticipates awarding one contract with total funding up to $900,000, to be spread across a 6.5 year contract term.


ISLG oversees CJII on behalf of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, including managing the solicitation and contracting process, managing and providing guidance to award recipients, and providing oversight and performance measurement throughout the lifetime of the initiative. In accordance with these responsibilities, ISLG will oversee the evaluator selected through this RFP. Proposals will be submitted and funds awarded through the Research Foundation of CUNY (Research Foundation).


The deadline to submit proposals was September 6, 2016, at 11:59 pm EST.


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