Correctional policies, such as the elimination of Pell Grants to prisoners, often limit inmate educational opportunities. Thus, examination of the possible negative consequences of such actions seems important. Though characterized by some inconsistency, previous research has suggested that post-secondary education within prison has the beneficial effect of reducing recidivism. What is missing is an explicit comparison of the effects of different types of correctional education programs, with a specific focus on discerning the relative effects of college versus non-college education. The present study addresses this issue through analysis of 972 Ohio inmates paroled or released from prison between 1989 and 1992. Our results suggest that college has a substantially stronger negative impact upon recidivism hazard rates than do other forms of correctional education (e.g. high school, GED, vocational education) and imply that, perhaps, the current policy regarding post-secondary correctional education programs is misguided.
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