NYS CoRR Platform
NYS Coalition for Rehabilitation and Reentry
Education for Employability
Poor education and crime are tightly
Many of the incarcerated persons have been afflicted with poverty,
racism, family dysfunction, or other handicaps, often contributing
to failure in traditional education in poor city schools.
Keeping imprisoned citizens in a
non-productive, dependent state promotes recidivism and undermines the economy of the nation.
Decent work for a decent living makes men and women and reduces
recidivism; it is the goal and the right of
Hence, corrective, job-oriented education of
incarcerated persons, from literacy to post secondary education, must be a key part of
correctional services in New York State.
1. Read, Take
Pieces, & Edit the following Message:
(or write your own)
Economic self-sufficiency of those released is a pre-requisite to reducing
crime and subsequent government expense. Job-oriented education/training is the
foundation of any solution to this problem. In today’s work environment, that
usually means secondary and post-secondary, vocational education/training.
Productive work, the work ethic, and the sense of personal
value that come with adequate vocational training/education are important parts
of the total rehabilitation process, providing a base for overcoming diverse
addictions, and the transformation of criminals into law-abiding taxpayers.
Direct SUNY administration to
1) conduct an in-depth study of educational needs of incarcerated persons,
including literacy, special education, vocational education, GED programs,
and post secondary education; 2) produce inmate-oriented curriculum guides in each area; and
3) offer instructional services, from all SUNY facilities, to selected prison facilities, in areas of
Recidivism: Texas data compiled over a four-year period revealed that with
two years of college, the recidivism rate drops to 10%, and with four years of
college, the recidivism rate drops to 5%, compared with a recidivism rate of 60%
for those receiving no additional education while incarcerated. (Kemp Study, in
conjunction with Texas Southern University’s Earl Carl Institute for Legal and
Social Policy Inc., 2003).
Reduce Cost: In 1990, the State Auditor’s Office estimated that the state
of Texas saved 6.6 million dollars for every one-percent reduction in
Correct a Bad Mistake: A November 2005 report by The Institute for Higher
Education Policy revealed that over 85,000 incarcerated persons were enrolled in
college courses in U.S. prisons in 2003-2004. (mostly college-based vocational
courses). Among these states, two-thirds received at least half their funding
from state appropriations.
However, in 1994, NYS forbad the use of TAP grants for any post secondary
education for persons who are incarcerated in state prisons. This serious mistake can
and should be remedied.
I therefore urge you TO SUPPORT THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
Authorize a comprehensive study, under DOCS direction, of the
distance learning services now becoming widely available; and evaluate the
technical, economic, and security feasibility of using diverse forms of distance
learning for the education of incarcerated persons.
Again allow NYS TAP grants for
post-secondary education of incarcerated persons.
TAP grants should at
least be available to incarcerated persons who are enrolled in
job-skill-oriented post secondary educational programs (specifically
intended to promote employability upon release), including up to 2 years of
post-secondary remedial education, vocation-oriented certificate-programs, or
other primarily vocation-oriented programs, possibly leading to an Associates
Consider still other
means of NYS funding for job-oriented post secondary education for incarcerated
Increase cooperation with NYS Dept. of Labor and NYS trade
unions, for 1) design and certification of vocational training and
apprenticeship programs in
prisons, 2) networking with
prospective employers, and 3) educating employers on incentives for hiring
formerly incarcerated persons.
Increase pre-release job preparation and job placement
Increase investments in the education of incarcerated
persons, in accord with the above, and with particular attention to special
education and advanced vocational education.
Consider using one or more correctional facilities as honor facilities offering
college courses, personal transformation courses, family reunion and
intensive family counseling, and job preparation.
Make it illegal for colleges to ban the applications of formerly
incarcerated individuals solely because of their incarceration.
The NYS Commission on Sentencing Reform, in its October
15, 2007 report, states "...the Commission believes that DOCS should
provide more educational opportunities for offenders who have completed
their high school education or obtained a GED. While obtaining a GED
will realize modest reductions in recidivism, post-secondary educational
programs have been shown to reduce recidivism by approximately 40%."
Through a partnership with the Correctional Education
Association, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and the Milwaukee Area
Technical College, TLN provides college credit-bearing courses to subscribing
facilities via satellite. This partnership is offering courses leading to an
Associate of Arts Degree to many correctional facilities nationwide via
satellite. It's only one example of a cost effective way of using distance
learning to prepare inmates for jobs
that require technical skills
2. Send Your Email
or Postal Message to your NYS District Legislators
and to some
of the following:
DOCS Commissioner Brian Fischer ..
Parole Director George Alexander ...
Parole Exec. Director Felix Rosa ...
Senate: Crime Victims,
Crime & Corrections Comm.
Senate Codes Committee
Senate Higher Education Committee
Mary Lou Rath
Toby Ann Stavisky
Senate Education Committee
James Seward email@example.com
Carl Marcellino firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Fuschillo email@example.com
Thomas Morahan firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Golden email@example.com
Suzi Oppenheimer firstname.lastname@example.org
Toby Stavisky' email@example.com
Assembly Corrections Committee
Harvey Weisenberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Assembly Codes Committee
Assembly Higher Education
Assembly Education Committee
James Brennan email@example.com
Barbara Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Tonko email@example.com
Susan John firstname.lastname@example.org
Joel Miller email@example.com