HBCUs build prison-to-college pipeline to fight recidivism

Around the United States, historically black colleges and universities or HBCUs are investing in education for incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people, with the goal of reducing recidivism and building a prison-to-college pipeline, writes Sequoia Carrillo for NPR.

“Our brothers and sisters behind the wall are coming home,” says Laura Ferguson Mimms, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education in Prison Initiative (THEI). Since 2011, her organisation has worked with Tennessee community colleges to provide degree programmes behind bars. “When we introduce post-secondary educational options while the individual is incarcerated, we reduce the risk of recidivism by nearly half,” she says.

In 2021, THEI launched its first four-year degree programme with Lane College, an HBCU in Jackson, Tennessee. Like many of the oldest HBCUs, Lane was founded to help educate formerly enslaved people. Mimms says the school’s history makes it well-positioned to help incarcerated students.
Full report on the NPR site