The year that former #president #BillClinton signed into law, under his sweeping and ill-formed #CrimeBill, that no individual incarcerated in federal or state #prison should receive a #PellGrant which would enable them to pursue higher education while incarcerated which, in turn, would make it easier for newly released inmates to acquire gainful employment & become productive members of society.
Again, the question is why, why would our lawmakers even entertain, let alone pass, such a counterintuitive and destructive piece of legislation? IT FED THE BEAST OF RECIDIVISM that the folks on capitol claim so ardently to want to defeat.
I was in a max security federal facility when this happened. It demoralized the men there. Made many who were pursuing degrees want to give up. Education was the only hope for us and the government yanked it, like they actually WANTED US TO GET OUT AND COME BACK TO PRISON. Hmmm … imagine that.
In 2016, former president @barackobama reversed this, in part. He created the Second Chance Pell Grant which went to a very limited number of inmates. But by then, more than 20 yrs had gone by with inmates entering society with only their instincts to guide them.
And why does this even matter, you may be wondering, what difference does it make if a bunch of law breakers get an education? Well, I believe the most effective way to respond is with a question of my own:
These men & women are getting out, regardless. So, who do you want as your neighbor, someone committed to positive change, or someone hellbent on continuing their old, destructive ways?
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