Current conversations about the benefits of providing higher education in correctional facilities revolve primarily around the notion that a postsecondary credential will improve a formerly incarcerated person’s chances of finding employment post-release. There is copious research that demonstrates this phenomenon.
This idea that the provision of higher education in prisons is worthwhile solely because it serves an economic good is incomplete and, in fact, is reductionist. This can remove one’s agency and relegate their choice to engage in intellectual and academic enrichment and fulfillment to mere transactional motivation.
What this glosses over is the fact that race still plays a significant role in post-release employment outcomes even when factoring in increased educational attainment. Study after study after study have found that black folks released from custody continue to struggle to find employment at rates higher than their white counterparts. In some instances, white formerly incarcerated people with lower educational attainment are able to secure employment at higher rates than their black peers with higher educational attainment.
[For more on this story by Erin Corbett, go to https://jjie.org/2019/01/14/hi...-oppression-society/]