Returned citizens frequently find themselves stuck in a cycle of incarceration, rearrest, and return to prison. A National Institute of Justice study found that within three years of release two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were rearrested. These statistics demonstrate the vast need for rehabilitative programs that are specifically focused on personal and career development, beginning in the prison system–prior to release–and that continue to offer support post-release.
Providing inmates with an education drastically reduces the likelihood that they will reoffend and return to prison. When inmates receive vocational training, the recidivism rate drops to approximately 30%. With an associate’s degree, recidivism drops to 13.7%, and with a bachelor’s degree, it drops to 5.6%. Once an inmate receives a master’s degree, the recidivism rate is so low that it’s effectively 0%. It’s simple – if returned citizens can live a meaningful, productive lives after serving their sentences, they will not reoffend.