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