How Effective is Correctional Education?

Did you catch the announcement by the RAND Corporation today of a major analysis of research to address the question: “How Effective is Correctional Education?”  Both Attorney General Holder and Secretary of Education Duncan commented on this seminal meta-analysis of research on correctional education in a press release out today.

Not surprisingly, education does make a difference.  RAND found a strong research foundation for the proposition that incarcerated individuals who participate in the most common types of educational programs offered behind bars (characterized by RAND as ABE programs, high school/GED programs, postsecondary education programs and vocational education programs) significantly improve their odds of avoiding future incarceration.

The research report is the first product of a two year study of correctional education undertaken by RAND that was funded by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.  We’ll be watching for additional resources from this project to be published this fall and will post them on the blog as they become available.

John Linton is the Director of the Office of Correctional Education at OVAE