Nearly $1M in funding intended to tackle recidivism, violence in the community
A college program for the incarcerated in California has received a federal grant of almost $1 million to teach incarcerated students in-person, the Sacramento Bee reports.
“This federal funding will help reduce recidivism, violence, and overall conflict in our community while equipping students with increased job training and skills upon their reentry into society,” said Rep. Ami Bera, who with Sen. Alex Padilla requested the $950,000 grant.
The money goes to the Folsom Lake College’s PREP reentry program, from the $1.7 trillion Consolidated Appropriation Act which was signed by President Biden, the Jan 4 story notes.
PREP Director Molly Stafford reported program graduates had a recidivism rate slightly under 2%, compared to a statewide rate of 60%.
“What started as a handful of course offerings and two certificate programs has grown substantially with over 40 course offerings per term and a robust network of allies and advocates of students who have experiences with the justice system,” said Stafford.
The reentry program draws out the potential of incarcerated students, despite the stigma, and systemic barriers, the Bee reported.
The program started in 2016 after Senate Bill 1391 was passed, which allowed for the in-person instruction of incarcerated people. Last term the program enrolled 7,155 students in 260 courses, according to Stafford.
College degree programs like small business entrepreneurship, social work, human services and management are offered at Folsom and Mule Creek prison, the article reported.
“A PREP student enrolled in classes at Mule Creek State Prison told us, ‘I cannot predict the future, obviously, but thanks to this opportunity I can say I see a future,’” said Stafford.