Justice Department to Launch Schools In Federal Prisons

by James Poulos

December 22, 2016

If you’re behind bars, the odds just went up that you can also be in school.

Adding another approach to its ongoing effort to reform the way America incarcerates its criminals, the Obama administration unveiled a new measure that would effectively install an education system within the prison system.

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told NPR that the initiative will improve government’s results from the standpoint of criminal justice and budgetary responsibility alike. “We are going to save money through this,” Yates promised. “The research is really clear that individuals are 43 percent less likely to re-offend when they engage in meaningful education programs when they are in prison.”

Keen to shore up the president’s legacy, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she was “really excited” about the changes because they’ll “live on past this administration,” becoming “part of the DNA of the Bureau of Prisons,” according to the Washington Post.  

There’s some reason to think a Trump White House could make it more difficult for in-prison school and related reforms rolled out by the Justice Department. The president-elect’s nominee to replace Lynch, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, took time last year to cast doubt on the impact of so-called “character building programs” on recidivism rates, the Post noted. But Team Obama remains confident that their effectiveness – and their affordability – would keep them around regardless of Trump’s time in office.   

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Justice Department to Launch Schools In Federal Prisons