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Report Advocates More Education in Prisons

Friday, January 30, 2009

A prisoner rights group says the state should restore funding for in-prison college programs to reduce recidivism. WNYC's Elaine Rivera has more.

REPORTER: The Correctional Association of New York looked at a number of long-term studies showing that inmates who participated in higher education programs tended to stay out prison after release. Robert Gangi, the group's executive director, says grants and tuition assistance were nearly wiped out in the 1990s under Governor Pataki and President Clinton.

Gangi is calling for the new Democratic majorities in Albany and Washington to restore the programs. He says the public will benefit.

GANGI: People who participate in college programs in prisons are much more likely to return to the community and become law-abiding citizens, find jobs, keep jobs, become taxpayers.

REPORTER: The report also recommends additional educational funding for newly released inmates, after they've re-entered their communities. For WNYC, I'm Elaine Rivera.

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