Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $866,188)
Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn College) seeks a BJA Second Chance Act Improving Reentry Education and Employment Outcomes Category 1 grant to support formalization and expansion of its Prison to College Program. The program, which will build on an existing program, will offer access to post-secondary education, intensive case management, academic remediation, tutoring, support services, and employment. The proposed program will benefit both pre-release and post-release residents at Lycoming County Prison and Muncy State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania. Classes for pre-release participants will be provided at the correctional facilities, and classes for post-release participants will be provided on Penn College’s main campus in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Participants in the Prison to College Program will have access to foundational coursework in English and life skills as well as industry-recognized certificates and associate’s degrees in growing industries. As part of the proposed program, all participants will be assessed and provided with an action plan. Access to transitional services (housing, counseling, employment) will also be provided.
The proposed program will build on research, which has shown access to higher education reduces recidivism rates. The goal of the proposed program will be to reduce recidivism rates among the target population to 20%. The program will be guided by the following objectives: (1) 90 participants enroll in the Prison to College Program; (2) 75% of participants complete a certificate or a degree at Penn College; (3) 75% of participants obtain and retain positions of employment for, at least, six months; and (4) an Advisory Committee with 10 members is established. The program will have the following deliverables: (a) an action plan with input from BJA and an assigned technical assistance coach, submitted within six months of receiving final budget approval and (b) a final report at the end of the project period.