Benefits of Prison Education

Programs like this have proven positive effects on prisoners, prison culture and prison systems.

Michigan needs This program

Study after study shows that prison education programs not only benefit and transform the incarcerated, but they also transform the prison community. Here’s why: 

  • 43% reduction in recidivism among parolees who participate in prison education programs
  • 13% increase in post-release employment for parolees who participate in prison education programs
  • Return on investment for prison education programs ranges from 1:5 to as high as 1:12 
  • A 70% reduction in misconduct incidents.
  • Improved safety and positive culture of prisons

"Everyone makes mistakes. Some deserve a second chance. Some don’t. I pray that my college education will give me the chance to give back to my community." —Student, 2019

Crime victims want programs like this because: 

  • By a 2-to-1 margin, crime victims prefer that the criminal justice system focus more on rehabilitating people who commit crimes
  • By a margin or nearly 3-to-1, crime victims believe that prison makes people more likely to commit crimes than to rehabilitate them
  • By a 3-to-1 margin, crime victims prefer holding people accountable through options beyond more incarceration

A Hope-Western Prison Education Program student

“Teaching at the Muskegon Correctional Facility was truly a gift. I have never been in a classroom where students were so engaged and enthusiastic about the course material. It was truly inspiring, especially since I still have two years left at the seminary. These men have shown me how much fun the classroom can be, and I hope to bring more of that same attitude to Western. Not only did these men care about the course material, they cared about the professors and TAs. I felt so appreciated by all of them. They thanked each of us on many occasions and were always polite to us. It was a privilege to work with these men, and I hope that I have the opportunity to do it again soon.” —Teaching Assistant, 2019