Historic Success from Overseas… and Rising to the Local Challenge
Effective solutions to re-offending and unemployment have existed for over twenty years. In the United States, the country’s best universities have led the way in delivering high-quality higher education in prisons.
In the states of New York and Connecticut, incarcerated men and women are able to earn their bachelor’s degrees from Bard College, Wesleyan University, and Yale, with 85% of graduates securing jobs within two months of release, and just 2% ever re-offending compared to a national average of 50%.
Reoffending rates for prisoners who have graduated from similar programs in other parts of the United States are equally impressive. In California, Mount Tamalpais College reports reoffending rates of just of 17% three years after release from custody compared to a state rate of 65%.
However, ensuring that these effective solutions to re-offending and unemployment are available in the United Kingdom will require a much more ambitious approach to prison education than we have seen so far.
Today, less that 2% of the 87,550 people who are incarcerated in the United Kingdom have access to higher education.
Of this minority, most are studying alone via long-distance or remote learning where they are unable to benefit from the social experience of belonging to a cohort and community of academic peers.
Learning-in-Prison prioritizes full-time face-to-face teaching and through its carefully curated cohort model seeks to recreate at the human level the experience and transformative journey of a high-quality university education.