Washington D.C., Apr 15, 2019 / 23:06 pm
A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress last week would allow inmates in federal and state prisons to be eligible for Pell grants, to pay for college classes while they are in jail.
Known as the "REAL Act," the bill would repeal a 1994 Clinton-era ban on prisoners' eligibility for the grants.
The Senate bill was introduced April 9 by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). The corresponding House bill was introduced by Congress members Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), and French Hill (R-Ark.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
A press release from Senator Schatz's office pointed to a report finding that inmates who take part in correctional education while in jail are 43 percent less likely to commit future crimes than those who do not participate in such education, and 13 percent more likely to find a job after their release.