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Prison-to-College Pipeline Program Ranked as One of Nation’s Best

In an era of mass incarceration, programs that help to reduce criminal recidivism are getting a fresh look, and John Jay’s Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP) initiative was recently ranked as one of the five most promising efforts by NationSwell, a website dedicated to promoting solutions to America’s greatest national challenges.

Founded in 2011, P2CP is a partnership between the City University of New York and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and led by John Jay College and Hostos Community College. The initiative, sited at the upstate Otisville Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison, selects inmates who have high school diplomas or GEDs and are eligible for release within five years.

Upon release, the incarcerated students are eligible for enrollment in CUNY institutions, through the P2CP reentry component that also includes assistance with employment, housing, health care and reunification with families.

“If our goal is to lower recidivism and help returning men and women achieve their place as self-sufficient, contributing members of their communities, there is no better investment than education inside our prisons,” says Ann Jacobs, Director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute, one of John Jay’s 12 research institutes and the home of the P2CP program.

To date, 18 P2CP students have been released back into society; four are enrolled at CUNY colleges, including two at John Jay. Every one of P2CP’s released students is currently employed, enrolled in a training program or working as an intern.

The website notes that the P2CP initiative can have an impact beyond reducing recidivism: “A program to engage young inmates could serve as a model to educate wayward youth in troubled communities — preventing entry into the correctional system altogether.”

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About the Prisoner Reentry Institute: The mission of the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is to spur innovation and improve practice in the field of reentry by advancing knowledge; translating research into effective policy and service delivery; and fostering effective partnerships between criminal justice and non-criminal justice disciplines.