CLASP's Reconnecting Justice: Lessons Learned and the Agenda Ahead Report

"As part of our work to identify policy solutions that help low-income, low-skilled adults advance in the workforce, we are focusing on the unique and challenging needs of people who have been involved in the criminal justice system. A criminal record can have a strong negative impact on someone’s economic trajectory, and opening up education and training opportunities for this population is an essential part of the solution at both the policy and practitioner levels. Investments in correctional education have already demonstrated their effectiveness, with research concluding that correctional education leads to a 43 percent reduction in recidivism, and a 13 percent higher likelihood of post-release employment. 14 Likewise, smooth, supportive, and sustainable educational and career pathways that connect correctional education to continuing opportunities to earn credentials and upgrade skills upon reentry offer more stabilizing prospects for success in the labor market.

Building on the themes of comprehensive supports and continuity of learning from incarceration through reentry, CLASP convened experts and hosted a forum, Reconnecting Justice: Pathways to Effective Reentry through Education and Training, in October 2016. Through discussion and debate, the panelists and guests at the forum had conversations across the education, workforce, and justice issue silos. The takeaways from this forum energized CLASP’s advocacy agenda, and the following high-level lessons learned from the forum are now helping frame our work:  

  • Incarceration has a multigenerational effect on individuals, families, and communities.

  • Robust correctional education programs can be a mitigating factor for recidivism and promoting successful reentry.  

  • Supportive services are a crucial complement to education and training that must be continued after release."

View the Report