The momentum for criminal justice reform continues as bipartisan support for legislative changes and correctional system initiatives picks up steam.
- Last year, the First Step Act became law, resulting in significant criminal sentencing reforms at the federal level.
- In May, the Department of Education announced it would allow a second cohort of colleges to participate in the Second-Chance Pell pilot study, extending the opportunity for more incarcerated prisoners to receive Pell grants for postsecondary studies.
- Prospects for passing the REAL (Restoring Education and Learning) Act – a repeal of the ban against prisoners receiving Pell support – have improved.
- And an increasing number of states have passed or are considering legislation that would expand higher education programs in state prisons.
These developments set the stage for more comprehensive education/re-entry programs for correctional populations, and a number of promising approaches are emerging. A great example is Georgetown University’s Pivot Program, which graduated its first cohort of 15 fellows just last month.
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