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When GEDs mean failure for prisoners

Last year when changes to the GED programs were first announced, analysts predicted it would have a serious impact on the ability of prisoners to acquire their certificates.  A year later, those predictions have proven accurate. Prison GED success rates have dropped dramatically, in some places up to 82%  since the system switched over. To begin, the content

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Where alternative sentencing and education meet

News out of Iran’s criminal justice system last week could not be more surprising. One Judge Qasem Naqizadeh in the city of Gonbad-e Kavus is adopting an alternative sentencing mechanism for juveniles that the rest of the world would do well to pay attention to. Juvenile offenders with no previous records, having committed relatively minor

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NY State alliance designed to close gaps in prison education system

For anyone imprisoned, the possibility of a transfer can be very disruptive emotionally; after spending years in the same facility you become accustomed to the same faces and routines. But the impact can be far more serious when an individual is in the process of completing an education program when it happens. A student may

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Completing the education circle with financial knowledge

Zak Williams may not be as well-known as his late father, Robin Williams, but the impact he is having on the lives of others is no less note-worthy. A Columbia MBA, Williams has been working at San Quentin State Prison to provide prisoners with important financial skills to help facilitate their rehabilitation efforts.  He is

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Prisoners Train Shelter Dogs for Adoption

By Claudia Kawczynska Seven years ago, in May of 2008, Monty’s Home in Southeastern North Carolina, received state approval to start its first Pawsitive Partners Prison Program (PPPP), in conjunction with the Pender Correctional Institution, in nearby Burgaw, NC. President and co-founder Barbara Rabb was on an educational mission to use her dog training skills

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Former Inmate Gives Back By Encouraging Others to Pursue Education

Gina McConnell-Otten turned 12 the day she ran away to escape her abusive home in Lake Stevens. She was 15 when she got addicted to cocaine and 29 when she served her first sentence in a Washington state corrections center on 17 felony counts for drugs, forgery, possession of stolen property and identity theft. She

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Should We Let More Prisoners Take College Classes?

By Andrea Brody Earlier this month an editorial was published in the New York Times from an unusual source. The writer was John J. Lennon, an inmate at Attica Correctional Facility in New York, who’s currently serving a 28 years to life sentence for drug dealing and a murder he committed in 2001. He is one

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UI's Ginsburg Honored

By Noelle McGee She’s always had a passion for helping the disenfranchised and those marginalized by society. That passion took Rebecca Ginsburg abroad for several years where she was involved in human rights and anti-apartheid efforts. Then — somewhat unexpectedly, she admits — it took her into the California prison system, where she was exposed

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California Prisoners to Get Jobs as Programmers

By Jessica Guynn California inmates can earn cash making license plates for state residents. Soon they’ll be able to get paid for writing code. In a first for the country, prisoners at San Quentin State Prison are being considered for jobs as computer programmers. If everything goes as planned, they will work on projects for

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