People involved in the criminal justice system have, on average, much lower education levels than the general population. Research suggests that education is key to improving many long-term outcomes for incarcerated people, their families, and their communities—including reducing recidivism and increasing employability and earnings after release. To improve the lives of incarcerated people and decrease the collateral consequences of incarceration, Vera is working in several states to provide postsecondary education opportunities for incarcerated people.

The Expanding Access to Postsecondary Education Project provides technical assistance, training, and information resources to state departments of corrections, and state and local policymakers to support the delivery of high-quality postsecondary education programs in prisons and to develop policies, procedures, and practices to increase access to such programs.

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Project Objectives

  • Vera’s postsecondary education in prison programs give incarcerated people the opportunity to further their education and secure additional education and employment opportunities post-release.

  • Increased educational opportunities are key to providing economic stability for both incarcerated people and their families—reducing recidivism and securing long-term success after release. 

  • Helping people advance their education can have additional positive benefits for their children: research shows that education levels of parents are strong predictors of the educational achievements of their children.