The notion that there is a school-to-prison pipeline has become part of our commonplace understanding of the social causes of mass incarceration. Far less attention, however, has been given to the consequences of removing access to education from prisons, a movement that has accelerated since the passage of the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act, despite the fact that multiple studies have demonstrated the value of education for reducing rates of recidivism. There has been even less public dialogue about the barriers that formerly incarcerated individuals face when they do try to pursue opportunities for education and training on the outside.
At this two-day conference, participants will hear from formerly incarcerated individuals about their struggles to attain educational opportunities, both behind the walls and after release. Attendees will also participate in action sessions, intended to help develop strategies to support reinstating educational opportunities “behind the walls” and to facilitate better access to higher education “on the outside”.