tv Correctional Education and Job Training CSPAN November 28, 2016 11:30am-12:19pm EST
how we can actually overturn the ban and return to pre-1994 days. make america great again. so a few parting thoughts. overturning this ban would be great. it would bring education to thousands of people. it would reduce poverty. it would break the cycle. it would help children of the incarcerated go to college, and it would increase income and wealth, but that's not enough for all of us to do in in room and i want to bring it back to the if iment for a second. i showed you that film not because you all are a bunch of policy wonks and you know, mavens of good evidence and innovation and policy and program, but i showed it to you as citizens of this country. we created what we have. democracy was the culprit that got us to the 1994 bill and got us to all of the things that had
happened in the decades before. it's a lot of policy like the 1994 bill, and democracy was basically neglectful. it neglected the ramifications that you saw up on the film, the impact of relying on incarceration, the impact on families and individuals and communities. it absolutely neglected that. it neglected the evidence that we know that exists about the kinds of good policies that can actually put people on the road to success that can actually deliver public safety for us, and that can actually be the spine for good policy. so democracy has work to do here in a different way now. we have a job to do over the next decades to turn back what we have built, and so that's why it's good that all of you are in this room and you will go about your work focusing not only on
training and education and making sure that programs, the quality programs are, find their way back into prison and into the re-entry sphere but you're also going to have to do something else beyond just being good professionals. you need to vote in local elections for the das who are running and ask them what they are running on. what is it that you expect these guardians of our justice system to be able to deliver to you. is it more convictions? is it longer sentences for people or is it making better choices about the discretion they have as to who they want to send to the big house. you need to educate yourselves and you need to educate those who are around you about this system of incarceration that we have built for 40 years. you need to talk to your children about it. you need to show people that video, and the father's day video. you need to talk to friends and spouses. you need to go watch ava
devarnay's film the 13th and have discussion groups. if you have book groups have a movie group. it is so important for all of us to get engaged, to make sure the kind of neglect that led us to where we are now is not going to exist anymore, and in fact, being informed and engaged is the thing that's going to make the difference and the broad complex of policy that we have to turn around. so we have a lot of hard work to do. we need everyone. we need good policy, but most of all, we need inspired and tireless citizens like yourselves. thank you very much for being here. it was a pleasure to talk to you. [ applause ] >> now more from the center of law and social policy with a discussion on the benefits of education and job training of prison inmates. this is 45 minutes.
>> thank you. we're all ready to go and we're going to transition to our first panel now. >> thank you, everyone. good to have you all here. i'm scott stossel, head of the "atlantic" magazine. i want to set up this conversation before introducing the esteemed folks we have on the panel. as all of you know, as we heard earlier, you know, it is a fact that people who are incarcerated have lower levels of educational attainment than the general public. we also know that that is a by-product of larger systemic issues that cut across multiple dimensions. in addition to that, we know that correctional education has been proven to reduce
recidivism, increase employment prospects and offer positive benefits to returning citizens. this is why this panel is so important. so on this panel, which has perspectives from, you know, state level, federal level, institutional level, we're going to try to in the course of a brisk 50 minutes address policies and practices at all levels, consider what policy levels can be used to many prove correctional education, training and build opportunities, and finally, to examine the topic through a primarily racial lens. because that's i think the most important one. and we're also going to cover different types of correctional educational and training, technical education, english language learning, post secondary education and needs associated with all of them.
and actually before i begin, i want to thank wayne who sort of set this all up and did all logistics and david sokolow, who also was responsible, and nick turner, who just set this whole thing up. so let me introduce our panelists. you can find more detailed biographies in your packets. let me start with shawn addy, the director of correctional education at the office of career technical and adult education at the u.s. department of education. welcome. next, here, is bianca. i knew i was going to mangle her name. bianca vanharoron.
brant is the state superintendent of correctional education of the california department of corrections and rehabilitation. and fred patrick, director of sentences and corrections at the veer institute. he is also working on the implementation of second chance pell pilot programs, which is a hugely important product. he is not our subject for today. so with that, as kind of the setup, i wanted to start by asking each you guys individual questions and then open it up. at the end, there will be time for questions. but brent, let me start with you. a lot of these issues are state driven. california is probably, you know, among u.s. states, more progressive in the union. and certainly in its approach to
correctional education. from where you sit, what are some of the keys to california's success and what barriers does the state have to overcome and what lessons can you extract from that to the country as a whole? >> california has gone through some significant changes in the past few years. and there are various reasons for that. one is because we have a governor who thoroughly supports rehabilitate programs, and bipartisan effort, and multiple bills that have passed within california and the last several years that have not only reduced the prison population, allowing us to actually use classroom space to provide rehabilitative programs, but it has allowed us to do other things such as
to provide community college for many people. recently, in 2014, senate bill 1391 allowed for the community colleges to come into the prison system and teach face-to-face classes. and have that be funded by the state. so we now have face-to-face college programs at 29 of our 35 prisons up and running. and hopefully in the next six months, we'll have all 35 up and running. and i also can't forget to mention just the tremendous support that we have in california from our leadership, from cdcr, california department of corrections and rehabilitation. everybody is behind it. so it is almost like the stars are aligning right now for us to do these innovative things. it is not there hasn't been barriers. i think the barriers that we face in california are similar
to any state, and that would be lack of program space, border facilities that need to be remodelled, just the whole, i guess, the correctional staff maybe not buying into it completely. and that's changing, though. it is changing, because of our leadership with our department, and the message is we are all about rehabilitation. it is difficult to blame the correctional officers, because here they signed up to be providing safety and security inside the prison system and all of a sudden, we're telling them you're not going to become a counselor. and that's a difficult shift for them to make. but some great things are happening in california, and across the country in terms of
people buying into the -- >> and i want to move on to other folks quickly, but briefly, you've talked about how important it is that you've got the leadership from governor brown on down. is this model exportable to say mississippi or louisiana or any other, you know, other states across the country, or does it require the kind of installment of leadership along the lines of california? >> it goes to the adage of if there is a will there is a way, and if the top person is behind it and wants to make changes it, can happen. but the governor's office, the legislature has to get behind it. not just from a policy standpoint but from a funding standpoint as well. >> let me ask you, turning to shawn, in federal government also supports states in correctional education. what is the -- actually, follows neatly on what brandt was talking about. what is the federal role? brandt is talking about what they were able to achieve at the state level sort of independent of any kind of federal support for the most part obviously. what is the federal role in correctional education and what do you think it should be?
and how do you balance state investment, both financial and kind of just resource commitment time and all that versus federal? >> so i think the federal role is to in some cases provide education. i think it is also to coordinate education, and also to support education. so when i say provide, there is the bureau of prisons, which they have 122 correctional facilities across the country, and they provide education across those countries. there is abs aspec of the federal government that is focusing on education. when i say coordinate, there is a federal inner agency working group, the federal inner agency re-entry council, and that's, i don't remember the exact
number, between 15 and 20 federal agencies that are working across agencies working to help people facilitate re-entry to make sure re-entry is smoother, share resources, to share grant opportunities, and then part of that is the education aspect. so you know, talking about second chance pell, other federal agencies can help. and i think the other aspect is the support that i talked about. second chance pell, nick turner talked briefly about that. that's one aspect. we also have discretionary grant programs, where we're working across many jurisdictions providing funding for correctional education. it is also really important when we talk about correctional education to think about it as, i mean, language is so important in this field, to think about it as its education in correctional facilities. it is not somehow the base because inside a prison or halfway house. we think about it as these are teachers, instructors, same type of rigor. but that's a quick answer. it's important to talk about that.
as i mentioned with the support, we have discretionary grant programs. we have two big programs i'm sure people are, wioa, the the workforce opportunities act, and the perkins act, and there is funding set aside for both of these grant programs. they are ceilings, not floors, so states can spend up to a certain percentage. we also have second chance pell. it's getting a lot of attention now and it is in the experimental side but it's something we're really excited about it. building the continuum of education of adult secondary education to post secondary. >> perfect segue, second chance pell is a huge issue i think an important topic here. so to you, fred, given -- actually, i don't know, at some point, the federal government
outlawed pell grants for, if i'm not mistaken, to prisoners? >> state and federal prisoners. >> a, is there a chance we can roll that back? and b, you know, given -- well, either way, i mean there is sort of, you know, if pell grants are available to prisoners or if they're not, two different trajectories, but how does investing in post secondary education, incarcerated individuals are receiving what they need, and can they get the services they need or is really, you know, second chance pell grant the most important thing we can -- we can do as citizens and policymakers? >> as was talked about earlier, we are currently in the midst of an experimental site initiative, those generally last three to
four years in duration. although there are 69 colleges in 128 states, it is important to know there were over 200 colleges from 47 states. so real interest in doing this all across america. there a real need for it. what we think about the impact and benefit of college and prison, we should think about it as a public good. so it is not just that that individual incarcerated individual receives it, benefit from it, but the entire community. we talked earlier about many individuals are parent, and it is very clear that the education of parents is predictive on their children. we talked about it in the context of economic and social mobility. the reality is, by the year 2020, almost two-thirds of job vacancies will require some form of post secondary education or credential. so rather you look at it from a
how do you sort of help renew communities and when you think about the sort of incarceration that matters, individuals returning to certain communities, are able to get jobs, take care of themselves and their family. there is the public safety benefit. individual whose participate in education in prison, and this is all forms of education, not just post secondary, 43% less likely for recidivism. which means less victims. so from the public safety angle, from the economic and social mobility angle, from the taking care of myself and family and helping build community angle, it's the sort of investment we ought to be doing. i think it is important to realize as nick talked about in the keynote speech that this is an experimental, this second chance pell is not the victory. so the reality is we need to do a lot of work over the next three or four years to ensure there is the repeal of the congressional ban. that's what it will take.
until then, we may find ourselves in three or four years back to the 1994. >> i'll just notice an irony here. about a year ago, we published a piece in the "atlantic magazine" about angola prison, which has a very good, i'm now blanking on the name of the warden there, beryl -- >> cane. >> can, and a lot of the prisoners are getting full access to ged education, which they didn't have access to before they ended up in prison. and there is a certain, like, ass backwards notion that if they could have had access to all of these social services and education before they were put into prison, could you have, you know, theoretically avoided a lot of the criminality that landed them in the first place. >> i think that's a great point. when you think about communities, the largest producers of individuals who are
incarcerated, there is a lot to be said about the lack of quality, secondary education, lots to be said about the lack of social service and other things that a vibrant community would consist of. over 600,000 people are coming home every year and we should shift to begin to see those individuals as part of a talent pipeline that can help restore vibrancy to those communities. >> bianca, you're at john jay, and i know you look at -- i guess the question is, given the sort of incarcerated individuals have all levels of educational backgrounds, from negligible to, you know, in some cases, more substantial. what is your model, ideally, for targeting the needs of incarcerated individuals, given some are illiterate and some are not. how do we address that? >> right.
>> you sew not john j.r., our model is educating for justice. we're thinking about how can we organize our educational initiatives along a continuum, right. so the core of our program, the educating for justice. we're thinking about how can we organize our educational initiatives along a continuum, right. so the core of our program, the core of the prison pipeline, are our credit-bearing courses. but we do recognize that students and perspective students are anywhere along that continuum. so we begin the continuum inside prison offering development edge, preparing folks who may already have a high school diploma or equivalent to be ready for college level work. the next kind of notch on the continuum are a credit bearing courses that are fully city university credited, the students are earning those
credits, and they're transferable when they get into the community. at the next level, because you know, as we all know, funding has been really scares, and our capacity to serve the need is really small. but we want to prepare as many people as possible to enroll in school in the communities, so we provide access to cuny's entrance exam across seven prisons in new york state so that folks are one step closer to being able to enroll if we don't have the space to enroll them in our program. we really think about like how can we meet folks at every level or at every point in the continuum. and it is not enough. i just have to say this piece too, it is not enough to be doing the work on the inside. we also have to think about what happens in our communities when people come home. it's wonderful to be able to provide access to higher ed in a correctional setting, and we want to make sure people are transitioning and landing on our colleges and university
campuses where the full richness of what it means to access higher ed is available to them. the last thing i'll say is that anybody who does this work knows that any educational program, particularly higher ed, changes the correctional institution. so while our program is focused on preparing folks and providing higher ed for folks, we also know that it has an impact on the a.b.e. courses in the facility, it has an impact on the hsc programs such that that community becomes a learning community and those students who are in those precollege programs have something to aspire to. >> well, i want to open it up to the panel as a whole and i'll start with this question, which may be unanswerable or beyond the scope of this panel. one of my closest friends in
washington is a guy who in the 1970s, he got arrested for robbing banks, was in prison, got out, tried to clean himself uhm and then became a crack dealer in the '80s. got out. completely reformed himself. went back to college. got out, went back to college, got a b.a. and a masters. he cannot now find, you know, despite having both a b.a. and a master's from catholic university, it is really, really hard for him to find a job because he has a criminal record. what do we do about that? anyone? >> so first, you know, we have over 45,000 laws and regulations across this country that are real barriers to individuals successfully reintegrating. they're called collateral consequence, a term i don't like. it masks what it really is.
it is those barriers, restrictions, 45,000 what i call barriers to social mobility and civic engagement. they range from voting, ability to get an occupational license, such as barbering, to not having a driver's license while you're still on parole. lots of things that get in the way of our stated goals doing their time paying their dues and coming home and moving on. and so one of the things we need to do is begin to roll back all of those laws that you regulations that are real barriers. i think the other thing is we have to begin to identify, amply fi and support champions. you do have lots of organizations such as johns hopkins health system in baltimore, one of the largest employers in the state of maryland who does a great job of hiring and supporting and advancing by the way of formally incarcerating individuals. they have done rigorous studies on how those individuals compare to individual whose have not
but just as involved. in every measure, in terms of misconduct, promotional opportunities, no difference. the reality is, individuals coming home are usually motivated, want to do a good job, appreciate the second chance, and we have to do a better chance of figuring out how we expand that. >> that's my experience from my friend. do you guys think -- should the -- should we face the idea that you have to declare your criminal record? like once you've cleaned up and i mean, how -- how do we handle this problem? once you go into the criminal justice system, you have the mark of kane on your forehead, and it makes it that harder to find -- i was going to a level a little bit more, you know, really at a basic level. i think the question that we need to ask ourselves is what kind of society do we want, right. if we want an enlightened
society, a society that is safe, a society where people have the opportunity to benefit from the strengths that everyone among us has, then we have to remove the, you know, the "f" on the forehead, which removes boxes from applications, when a person's sentence ends, there aren't 45,000 laws that operate as perpetual punishment. we're looking to those folks to bring their strengths to our community. when we use our criminal justice system, and by extension, when we use our education system to create silos that we put people in that are impossible to get out, right, this en we -- then we have painted ourselves into this corner. >> yeah. >> where we will have scores and hundreds of thousands of people who will come home who will not
be we comed into our society because what we've decided is what we want is us and them. until we make that shift and recognize without the 2.2 million people's contribution, we are far worse off than if we are opening ourselves to receiving the gifts that they have. >> that's really interesting. i guess getting to this -- to the crux of the work that you are doing, and anyone can, please, leap in, what are the biggest barriers in policy barriers to the work you're doing now either from, you know, a political practical, equity perspective and -- well, i'll stop. let me ask that. and anyone should leap in. >> so i think a couple of things.
i think one is -- i think a lot of things. i think one of the issues is and this harkens back, separating punishment from rehabilitation. your punishment is committed a crime, go to prison for five years, come out, your punishment is over. your punishment should end. really the time of your punishment should be used for rehabilitation. you should have access to education and training. we know that works. we know that can help people come out and contribute to their communities, and pass it on to their children and family members. but in terms of what you were saying per policy, second chance pell is an example. if we had full pell statements, i think that would be great in terms of changing how correctional systems think about education, you know, bianca mentions how it changes the whole culture of an institution when you have a college, because that provides hope for people. there is something more that they can do beyond, noy, if they
have a ged, they can go get an associate's or bachelor's degree. if they don't have their ged, there is a reason to pursue it, because there is something beyond that. that's part of it. >> i'll take it even further. the punishment is the sentence itself. the deprivation of liberty is the punishment. prison doesn't have to do anything to further punish. it should be about from day one, how do you prepare that individual to succeed upon release back to the community. so, we should re-imagine prisons that are full of opportunities for individuals to get the skills and the tools they need to go home and support themselves, their families and be contributing members of society. >> one of the things that helps us overcome some of these barriers is looking at the research studies that have been conducted and there have been some great ones in the past several years, you mentioned the rand 2013 study and i think everybody coat quotes that everyday. only two sentences of it.
you know, the 43% less likely to recidivate, and that's helpful to us, because it helps us work for us in california because it helps us work with the policymakers and with those that run the prisons to help them understand, you know, why we need to overcome some of these barrie barriers. >> there's another part of that stud y by the way, that people should be quoting and i didn't earlier. we're often wondering, are we being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. we should want that. well, guess what. education in prison, for every dollar invested, there is a four to five dollar savings in reduced incarceration costs. so air talking about a 400% return on investment. >> why do you get that savings? >> they don't resid vat, so they don't cycle back through the system. there aren't many programs you
can say there's a 400% return on investment. so at a time in which we care about how you spend our dollars, education in prison, again, all forms, hugely impactful. >> i want to make sure we leave time for audience questions but let me get to the part of what people talk about. in a lot of communities there's a school to prison pipeline, which is a catastrophe, which has contributed to our mass incarceration problem. but there's a way, a theoretical way out, which is to have prison to college or secondary, you know, post or secondary education pipeline. i put this to any of you. what are the policy levers -- you guys are coming from all different perspectives here -- but that can be used to improve the quality or accessibility and salient or usefulness of prison education? and you know, viewing this through a racial lens too, which
is i think the right lens, that there is a social justice racial equality component to this too. i guess boiled down, how do we maximize or optimize prison education in order to get people who are in the criminal justice system as they come out of it prepared for, you know, living outside that, and living outside of criminality, and you know, we talked on the phone a couple of days ago. you know, there is a difference between job training, crucially important, because you know, in order to earn a living, you need to come out and have a job. but particularly for, you know, post secondary education, there is inherent value in that one could argue. so just any of you, weigh in on that. >> i would say a couple of things. i mean, i would say absolutely more federal and state investment in education across
the board, right, but particularly for vulnerable populations like people who are in prison, right. so i think more federal and state investment, i think we need to pass the real act and get some more, you know, funding for people who are currently in prison. i think we also need to recognize that we are in a moment where you know, we're deciding that brown people shouldn't get a higher education, right. and without going to the places where we put brown people, then we -- then we're going continue to make that choice. not to provide, you know, access. i think on the outside, as folks, you mentioned when people are coming home, i think on the outside, we also need to be thinking really critically. so yes, it is important to have a job. it is important to have, you know, job training. but i think that when we're
talking about folks in the criminal justice system, we tend to think about higher education and college as job training, because we made also a decision that folks are only good for the jobs that they can do for other people. and i think that we need to prioritize higher education in a way that we do for the general public. we need to see higher education and employment just for the value that it actually is. and i think when we do that, then you know, you don't have parole officers telling folks that, you know, going to college is not an option for them. they need to get a job, right. you provide more opportunities for folks than currently exist. i notice you -- >> yeah i think we need, we talked about the rand study a lot, but sometimes people look over the fact that it is the ram study funded by the department of justice bureau of justice assistance. we need more research. i think we also need state
investments. so you know, if we bring back pell, we also need to bring back state forms. you still have a state in new york, there the situation assistance. after pell went away, if we're viewing this as an investment, and i think it is for people, they should have access to the same type of resources they can invest in themselves.someone is eastern shore of maryland or upstate new york, back to, you know, baltimore or new york city, that's an investment that the state should be making to go along with the federal investment. so. >> do you guys have thought as soon as. >> the incarcerated students do have access to the state funds for higher education, and i see that as an incredible incentive. noy, there are some that think incentivizing on a prison yard is accomplished by giving them
more movies to watch, or they can stay up later, or maybe they have a warm cooked meal or something like that. but i don't see that working as much as providing opportunities for education. and where we have people that are working on a.a. degrees and bachelor's degrees, that filters down to the abe classes and those working on high school equivalency, which creates people that are better critical thinkers. it may not lead to a specific career. but it helps produce critical thinkers, with the soft skills to succeed in the job. >> and i'll add, i'll simply amplify that. education in prison, does exactly what we all know it to do.
you learn how to think critically. you write better. you communicate better. you problem solve. all the things that we're taught pretty early on as to why you should pursue education, and why we should do it on full-scale in prisons. the other thing is bianca talked about and brandt talked about how it lifts all forms of tainment. you have college education in prison and then you also see greater attainment rates in other forms. the other thing it does is it makes facilities safer. from a quality of work life perspective from the staff, it is about funding from both state and federal funding, and it is also about how do you support the correctional leaders, brandt and directors in terms of how do they get the requisite support so they're not choosing do i have enough funding for staffing or can i also have counselors and tutors and mentors, and other supports that are needed
to make it successful. >> i want to open this up to audience questions. i should have said this earlier, basically anyone, i think there is someone that will be walking around with note cards. if anyone has questions, write them down and they'll send them to me. while air doing that, i want to ask you a couple of you guys talked about we need more research. what is the nature of the research that -- what is the nature of the research we should ideally be focusing on? >> so we have the second chance pell right now, and there is a myriad of programs being offered across different levels of correctional facilities to just different types of programs to post secondary to career and technology focused and we need to figure out what works for
this program. what's the most effective of those programs, given the limited -- i think that's just scratching the surface. >> i think that kind of researches what you need to do from a quality improvement aspect. let's not use that as a basis for not moving forward. there is plenty of research that suggests that education in prison is extremely impactful. it is a balancing act, right. you want to get inside as rand said, the black box, to figure out which elements work better and you always want to look at ways to improve. it is balancing that need for additional insight versus the need to keep pushing. >> so i actually, we've got a bunch of audience questions here already. let me quickly try to go through some of these. so the first question is, noy, it is great there is education programs and training offered, but what mechanisms are in place to ensure quality and the questioner adds, by way of sort of detail, i know federal prisons that offer ged programs, but students don't have access to materials, or using outdated materials.
so how do you make sure that at any given prison, the quality of the education is high. >> i think one way to do it, you know, in new york, the cost of you know, doing business really was that it needed to be a credit bearing, you know, accredited program. that's one way. i think having, you know, with respect to materials, having syllabi, course material, exactly the same as it is on campus, and you know, sticking to that. to the extent that that's possible, right. so in new york state, students don't have access to the internet. there are things we have to do to adjust to make that possible. but i think one way to get at the quality, right, is really making what you provide inside comparable to the extent that the facility will allow to what you're doing on the outside. >> including credentials. you don't want to just pick up a person off the street and say you go and teach that course. >> how do you incentivize people
to teach in prison. >> our experience is you don't have to incentivize. there are no shortage of people interested in teaching in a correctional setting. as a matter of fact, once folks do it for the first time, they're banging down our door to say can i go back. because the students are some of the, you know, most intellectually stunning people i've ever had the opportunity to be around. and they -- so the faculty, you know, has not -- they're jumping at it. >> yeah, and many instructors i've talked to had the occasion of teach anything prison and outside, you know, talk about the level of focus, commitment, he had dedication, air not distracted by iphones. >> how are the second chance pilots ensuring they meet labor market demands? this gets to your idea that you distinction between job training and education per se. any you you can answer this. >> we are proud and excited,
happy, second chance pell site. i'm really excited to be coordinating the partnership between the three cuny institutions that are second chance pell sites. for us, in putting the application together, we really looked at what employment opportunities there were in new york. we went to the department of labor and looked at where the growth industries were. and then we worked with our community colleges continuing ed department to match what the growth opportunity was on the employment side, with the industry recognized credentials that we were already offering at the community college level that we're now folding into the, you know, what we're going to expand under second chance pell.
>> there have been also national studies done on surveys with companies that are hiring new employees, and it is not really the type of degree that they're interested in. they're interested in hiring people that can critically think. that can communicate well in writing, and i mean, those are the two major things that they're looking for. so those are definitely things as fred mentioned earlier that college can provide. >> here's a question about entrepreneurship. how can we better incorporate entrepreneurship so individuals can become self-employed or come out of prison to start a business, using the education they received either before, but more important, sort of during incarceration. the idea here is that this
questioner asks, is there an opportunity for job building as is is for supporting families. >> i think it is extraordinarily person. jackson college in michigan, we were offering a national program, jackson college was the provider. they did a good thing. they talked to the students about what it is you want to do, what kind of courses, what sort of majors do we have. what bubbled up that was extremely important was being entrepreneurs. many colleges these days offer courses. that's what jackson college did, and i assume as a second chance pell site that may be apart of the offerings. the offense. >> i know i mentioned the federal agency council, one of the agencies that participates is the small business association. as part of the participation, they're giving out micro loans to formerly incarcerated people. they realize how important it is to starting your own business and fostering and encouraging
entrepreneurship. >> we also have in california volunteers that come in and teach them. multiple prisons, the last mile project, and they bring in investors to do a "shark tank" type experience, and that's been very successful with us. and then we encourage the folks, especially career technical certifications to continue their education, and now get an aa in business. so many of our college programs are business related. so they can now have that as a backup when they move home. >> i've got a ton of questions, but we're going to run out of time. one final question here, which is a great audience question. but is there anything we haven't covered here that you think is worth talking about to this community about prison education, what is needed in terms of politics, policy, funding, creative thinking? what have we not talked about? >> i think one of the things i would add to this discussion is
if you're trying to change your system and policy and pitch an idea, it is really important to understand what the research says and use that, but also, get out and see what's going on around the country. and one of the things that is really inspired california is many of our leaders have gone out, even around world, and looked at other sites. there is a lot of great things happening out there. it is inspirational to us. we hope we can offer the same thing for other people to come see us. >> so i would add two things. one, i would add that any -- at every point possible, include the voices of folks who are directly impacted, right. so learn as, you know, as fred
was just saying, ask students what they're interested in, in building programs if there are folks here starting from scratch and building programs. get the input of folks who will be students in those programs. the other thing that i would add is really i hope that what we can do is take this conversation out of the criminal justice realm and bring this conversation into an educational justice realm, into a realm that's about diversity and higher education. so that we recognize that we, you know, can close that gap, the racial gap, socioeconomic gap in higher education. i think doing that, and putting our focus there, the criminal justice side will take care of itself. >> i think people need to go to prisons or jails with an open and inquisitive mind, and actually see what they're like. i think there is a lot of people who have no idea what they look like, what they smell like, what
the effect is. i think that means people aren't really thinking critically and analytically what criminal justice reform looks like on that level. >> there is a lot of great questions i'm not getting to. let me end with this one, and i'll read it verbatim here. it's great to use data to change people's minds. their perceptions about people in prison, but we'll never reach people's heads without reaching their hearts. how would you, each of you respectfully, reach people's hearts about the integrity, intelligence, character and courage of people in prison? >> i can tell you what we've done is you have to take the state senators to the prisons, and have them visit. then they can see what is happening. that's from the policy level. but at a real grassroots level, it is one officer at a time.