Alternative Funding Options for Post-Secondary Correctional Education (Part One)

By Taylor, Jon Marc | Journal of Correctional Education, March 2005 | Go to article overview

Alternative Funding Options for Post-Secondary Correctional Education (Part One)


Taylor, Jon Marc, Journal of Correctional Education


Abstract

Post-Secondary Correctional Education (PSCE) programs have been offered in United States penal facilities for half-a-century. The primary determinant of these program opportunities has been funding availability. With the exclusion of prisoner-students from participating in the Pell Grant financial aid program, approximately half of the existing PSCE opportunities ceased to function, with many of the remaining options undergoing reductions. This two-part article reviews the historical funding structures, analyzes the current financing situation, and proposes four alternative funding methods for consideration. This article (part one) presents the Pell Grant-based Tuition Repayment - Work/Reparation proposal.

"Charity must not be allowed to go bail for justice."

Rev. William Sloane Coffin

Introduction

In 1956, on-site post-secondary classes commenced at the State Penitentiary at Menard, Illinois (Marsh, 1973). Over the subsequent forty years, similar Post-secondary Correctional Education (PSCE) opportunities proliferated. By the beginning of the 1990s, there were 772 on-site prison college programs operating in the 1,287 correctional institutions in the United States (Stephan, 1992). The primary funding source for these higher education programs was the Pell Grant (Littlefield and Wolford, 1982; Sarri, 1993). Prisoners were excluded from this federally-funded Basic Education Opportunity Grant with the passage of the renamed Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in 1994. Approximately 25,000 prisoner-college students thus lost their primary, and for the majority sole, funding source for tuition and textbook support (Tracy, 2002).

Since the loss of Pell Grant funding eligibility for prisoner-students and the resulting closure of PSCE programs across the country, there has been a slight operational recovery as diverse alternative funding methods have been developed. The PSCE program nadir so far appears to have been in the 1997-1998 academic year, in which 54.9 percent of the penal systems operated on-site collegiate (including vo-tech) education opportunities, 37.7 percent offered Associate degree programs, and 19.6 percent offered baccalaureate programs (Tewksbury, Erickson and Taylor, 2000). According to the 1997 Corrections Compendium survey of correctional departments, 66 percent of responding "systems indicated that the elimination of Pell Grants eliminated most if not all of their college course opportunities for inmates" (p. 5). By 2002, PSCE opportunities had slightly increased to 55.6 percent of penal systems operating on-site or in-house college level education options, 42 percent offering Associate degree programs, and 33 percent offering baccalaureate programs (Messemer, 2003).

A funding development occurring between these two surveys may account for the positive change in the reported PSCE opportunities. In 1998, the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act was passed. "This Federal Statute," Messemer (2003:37) reports, "enables Federal appropriates to be spent toward any non-profit organization which offers education programs to adults." Because such federal funds are disbursed to non-profit organizations, rather than directly to students (i.e., in this specification prisoner-students), this permits universities and/or corrections departments to secure funding that can finance PSCE operations. Discretionary state regulations may still exclude prisoner-students from participation from these grants as well, and thus such grants are not "national in scope" as Pell Grants were when prisoner-students were eligible for those. Messemer (2003:37) notes, "though, that "overwhelmingly the majority of states" still require prisoner-students to pay for at least some of their own tuition costs.

Other Funding Options

These and other funding options are the subject of this two-part article. Welsh's (2002) survey of the 50 States and District of Columbia directors of correctional education noted that 57 percent of the respondents reported "replacement or supplemental" PSCE funding originated from three basic categories:

* 32 percent reported use of Youthful Offender Opportunity Grants, either alone or in combination with other sources;

* 16 percent reported state or local assistance, including private grants, inmate canteen profits, state funding and barter agreements with local colleges; and

* 9 percent responded with various prisoner-pay-all costs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Alternative Funding Options for Post-Secondary Correctional Education (Part One)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.