Pres Ojakian on Congressional Action to End Prohibition on Pell Funding for Incarcerated Individuals
"It is common sense that those in prison should be afforded the opportunity to improve their lives and pursue a college education."
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Mark Ojakian released the following statement in response to congressional approval of federal stimulus legislation, which includes repeal of the prohibition on incarcerated individuals to receive Pell funding while serving their sentence.
"This is a big deal for a lot of families in Connecticut," said President Ojakian. "The prohibition is a relic of 1990s 'tough on crime' policies that disproportionately harmed people of color, only to make our communities less safe. It is common sense that those in prison should be afforded the opportunity to improve their lives and pursue a college education. Through the Second Chance Pell pilot program, Connecticut helped to show that this repeal was not only necessary but long overdue. I thank the members of our congressional delegation, all of whom have been champions for rescinding this backwards policy."
In 2015, four Connecticut community colleges -- Asnuntuck, Middlesex, Three Rivers, and Quinebaug Valley -- were among 67 higher education institutions nationwide to participate in the Second Chance Pell pilot program. To date, more than 1,000 students have participated in the program and 185 have attained a credential.
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