Almost 200,000 men and women are currently incarcerated in California, and an estimated 8 million California residents have a criminal record. Recidivism is extremely high, yet research shows that a college education reduces recidivism. However, fewer than 5 percent of incarcerated adults are enrolled in college classes, and educational opportunities have almost exclusively been non-interactive correspondence courses, which are known to yield poor outcomes. Among all 146 public colleges in California, fewer than ten offer programs supporting formerly incarcerated students. The Renewing Communities initiative aims to (1) increase the quality and quantity of higher-education opportunities for these students, (2) build strong links between the criminal justice and higher education systems, and (3) support participating students to achieve educational success. To do so, the Initiative will support pilot partnerships between educational and correctional institutions in both urban and rural areas, while convening and providing technical assistance to these pilots to improve efficacy and sustainability. Projects will be funded partially by private foundations and partially through state and local matching resources. Ultimately, the aim is for high-quality programs to be replicated throughout the state of California.
About the Grantee
1400 Shattuck Ave Ste 12, #136, Berkeley, CA, 94709, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for support of "Renewing Communities" to improve college opportunities for incarcerated Californians
The Opportunity Institute works across issue silos to address the complex barriers to social mobility and focuses broadly on educational opportunities ranging from infant and toddler development to pathways out of incarceration. One signature project is Renewing Communities, a four-year initiative that is building pathways from criminal justice to higher education in California. The systems-change initiative aims for long-term sustainability so that the state’s public higher education system adopts the goal of higher education achievement for currently and formerly incarcerated students.
for community engagement in school system planning
Partners for Each and Every Child is a project of the Opportunity Institute and grew out of the work of the congressionally chartered Equity and Excellence Commission. It is a collaborative, nonpartisan network of education researchers, advocacy organizations, and policy experts. The partnership seeks to expand its effort to support the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act in several states to advance a broad equity agenda, including deeper learning outcomes that result in student acquisition of the knowledge, higher-order thinking skills, and academic mindsets necessary for economic and civic success.