Recently, the U.S. Department of Education announced plans to reinstate federal scholarships for incarcerated prisoners. Through 67 different colleges and universities, an estimated 12,000 inmates will receive Pell Grants to pursue higher education.
Congressional Republicans repudiated the program, questioning why people who have committed crimes deserve scholarship money while plenty of law-abiding citizens cannot afford college.
Advocates say prison education improves the lives of prisoners and betters society at the same time. A 2014 report showed those inmates who took college classes had a 43% lower chance of going back to prison.
Sean Pica is one such advocate. He is the Executive Director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison. Pica spoke with APM Reports producer Samara Freemark.