A Monumental Shift: Restoring Access to Pell Grants for Incarcerated Students

In December 2020, Congress lifted a 26-year ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students. The ban, enacted amid a slew of “tough-on-crime” policies in the 1990s, stripped people in prison of access to this federal financial aid. Incarcerated people earn pennies per hour for the work they do in prison, making it next to impossible for them to afford postsecondary education without financial support. Under the ban, the number of prison education programs shrank drastically, from 772 programs in the early 1990s to only eight in 1997. The FAFSA Simplification Act, which restores access to Pell Grants for people in prison, will make it possible once again for thousands to pursue postsecondary education.

Barracks Behind Bars

This paper is the second in the National Institute of Corrections justice-involved veteran compendium project. It illuminates programs in jails across the country and how justice involved veterans have been helped by them. It illustrates the design, development, implementation, and sustainment of initiatives taken by enlightened, pragmatic corrections officials who have set up veteran-specific housing—in pods, dorms, units, wings, or floors—and programming for military veterans.

Integrated Safety and Health Promotion among Correctional Workers and People Incarcerated: A Scoping Review

Improving safety and health for correctional workers and people who are incarcerated are widespread yet separate initiatives. Correctional workers and people who are incarcerated experience similar challenges involved with poor workplaces and living conditions, including mental health crises, violence, stress, and chronic health issues, and the available resources lack integration with respect to safety and health promotion. This scoping review sought to contribute to an integrated approach for correctional system safety and health resources and identify studies of correctional resources that address health promotion among correctional workers and people who are incarcerated. Guided by PRISMA, a search of gray literature, also termed peer-reviewed literature, published between 2013–2023 (n = 2545) was completed, and 16 articles were identified. Resources primarily targeted individual and interpersonal levels. At every level of intervention, resources improved the environment for both workers and those incarcerated, with trends of less conflict, more positive behaviors, and improved relations, access to care, and feelings of safety. The corrections environment is impacted by changes from both workers and people who are incarcerated and should be examined using a holistic approach. Future health and safety resources should target the larger correctional environment by utilizing practices, policies, and procedures to improve safety and health for incarcerated people and workers.

Health promotion programs in prison: attendance and role in promoting physical activity and subjective health status

Maintaining an inmate’s health can serve as a challenge due to unhealthy background, risky behavior, and long imprisonment. This study aimed to analyze the prevalence of participation in health promotion activities among Israeli inmates and its association with their physical activity levels and subjective health status.

Take Charge of Your Future: Get the Education and Training You Need

The updated version of the Take Charge of Your Future guide provides an overview of the current education and training landscape to help target audience make informed decisions about their next steps in a career pathway. It includes tips for finding community resources and profiles of and advice from formerly incarcerated individuals about the importance of education and training in their lives.

Developing Strategic Partnerships for Reentry Education

This tool offers recommendations and resources to help providers identify and develop sustainable, strategic partnerships for creating successful reentry education programs.

Model Practices for Parents in Prisons and Jails: Reducing Barriers to Family Connections

The objective of this document is to detail a set of practices that correctional administrators can implement to remove barriers that inhibit children from cultivating or maintaining relationships with their incarcerated parents during and immediately after incarceration. This handbook contains ten chapters: partnership building; training and core competencies; intake and assessment; family notification and information provision; classes and groups; visitor lobbies; visiting; parent-child communication; caregiver support; family-focused reentry.

Implementing Successful Jail-Based Programming for Women: A Case Study of Planning Parenting, Prison & Pups – Waiting to ‘Let the Dogs In’

With 68% of prisoners recidivating within a three year period, designing and implementing innovative programming within the corrections setting is a necessity. The transient nature of the jail population begets difficulties for its successful implementation and maintenance. Since incarcerated females represent a smaller portion of the population, women, who face different challenges than their male counterparts, often receive less opportunity for programming, especially within the jail setting. Parenting, Prison & Pups (PPP), a program which weaves together an evidence-based parenting curriculum, integrated with the use of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), serves as a model for how to implement innovative programming within the jail setting at both the federal and county level for female prisoners. This paper outlines strategies to employ and discusses challenges that arise during program creation, implementation, and evaluation, which all require consideration prior to starting a new jail-based program. Despite a multitude of challenges, well-developed strategies can advance program goals and outcomes.

Strengthening and Maintaining Family Connections: Best Practices for Child-Friendly Video Visiting

Visiting is an essential way for families to maintain and strengthen relationships during a family member’s incarceration, particularly for children with incarcerated parents. This brief shares 12 best practices for supplementing in-person visiting with video visiting options.

Family Connections Project Webinar Series

This is a four part webinar series that was created for the Family Connections Project.