Should Congress establish an Office of Prison Education?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill would create an independent Office of Prison Education. The new office would improve current education programs already established, ensure quality education across all institutions, build relationships with education providers for quality programs, and research the best way to initiate these quality programs. Sponsor: Rep. Madeleine Dean (Democrat, Pennsylvania, District 4) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

At the time of research and publication, no official opponent statements were found. This does not necessarily mean that nobody opposes the bill, nor does it mean that statements won’t be made in the future.

Proponents say

•    "It’s in everyone’s interest that when people re-enter society, they do so with the skills they need to build decent futures for themselves and their families. Educational opportunities make all the difference in helping to break the cycle of recidivism and reincarceration – and create more positive outcomes for all." Source: Rep. Madeleine Dean (Democrat, Pennsylvania, District 4)

•    "Research shows that one of the best ways to break the cycle of recidivism is through education. This bill would make it easier for people in the federal prison system to pursue a better life through learning, in turn improving our public safety and saving taxpayers’ money." Source: Sen. Brian Schatz (Democrat, Hawaii)

•    "When I visited Maryland’s Jessup Correctional Institution for the launch of the Federal Second Chance Pilot Program a number of years ago, two things were very clear: education is a key to successful re-entry for incarcerated individuals, and we need to do more on this front. Formalizing a role at the Federal Bureau of Prisons to advance educational opportunities will help reduce recidivism, improve public safety, and save taxpayer dollars, while changing the lives of those looking for a second chance." Source: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Democrat, Maryland)

•    "Everyone deserves a second chance, and education is key to post-incarceration success. I’ve seen firsthand the transformative, positive benefits of education in Maryland’s prisons through the Federal Second Chance Pell Pilot Program that provide opportunities through Maryland institutions of higher education. It is vital that we make available all levels of educational resources while individuals are incarcerated to help them reintegrate into their communities after serving their time and reduce recidivism." Source: Sen. Ben Cardin (Democrat, Maryland)