Tuesday, December 29, 2020
The latest stimulus bill includes a provision restoring Pell Grant eligibility to those who are incarcerated. The Obama administration began a pilot program awarding Pell grants to 12,000 incarcerated individuals. The educational program was a success and its restoration for availability for all prisoners had bipartisan support. Even Betsey DeVos supported the bill. Education is a critical way for those who are incarcerated to obtain jobs upon their transition back into civil society. Access to Pell grants is important but is only one of the necessary steps to improving the lives of both the incarcerated and the formerly incarcerated.
Recently PBS aired a series of reports on the difficulties faced by formerly incarcerated people. Often those returning to civil society face substantial barriers to improving their lives. The barriers placed by our bureaucracies who impose unreasonable costs and other demands on the formerly incarcerated. These restrictions prevent these formerly incarcerated humans from achieving financial success and independence. These are only some of the obstacles and indignities formerly incarcerated people encounter. To read the stories of those interviewed for the PBS series, click here.