To build or strengthen a reentry education continuum, providers need a solid program infrastructure that includes adequate programmatic resources and program capacity, data collection and evaluation procedures, and policies supportive of reentry education.
Programmatic resources include not only a secure funding base but also in-kind resources, the ability to leverage resources with partners, and direct student support.
The correctional environment can create some unique program capacity challenges for providers, such as the ability to acquire adequate space and equipment to support educational services. A well-trained and dedicated staff is particularly critical to a program's capacity. In addition to general instructional training, staff should be trained in techniques specific to the corrections population, such as motivational interviewing.
Data Collection and Evaluation
Education providers need a systematic process for collecting and using data to make programmatic decisions about staffing, resource allocation, and course offerings. High-quality data also are needed to garner public support for reentry education efforts and meet federal and state reporting requirements.
Supportive reentry policies include not only federal, state, and local policies but also institutional policies. Reentry education providers should collaborate with partners to advocate for changes in federal and state policies that create barriers to successful reentry and strengthen program and partners' administrative policies that support education and training programs for students in the corrections population.
This tool provides tips for creating data dashboards to support organizational and systems change efforts.
This tool enables providers and their partners to assess their current program infrastructure and their capacity to implement the other components of the Reentry Education Framework.
Based on the results of the implementation self-assessment, providers should develop an action plan for implementing the Reentry Education Framework.
- Correctional Education Data Guidebook Provides a common framework for state data collection and reporting on correctional education.
- Federal Funding for Reentry Education Describes the Ability to Benefit (ATB) provision that allows students in eligible career pathways to access financial aid even if they do not have a high school credential.
- Funding Career Pathways for Reentry Outlines the need for funding reentry career pathways and offers suggestions for pursuing such funding.
- Take Charge of Your Future: Get the Education and Training You Need A guide for incarcerated adults and those in community supervision on setting and achieving education and career goals and applying for financial aid.