HBCUs Create Prison-to-College Programs for Formerly Incarcerated People of Color


(IStoock/ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 05: Rapper Lil Kim, daughter Royal Reign, and a guest arrive to the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/WireImage))

It’s a new day and HBCUs are reversing the school-to-prison pipeline through new programs that help people of color start a new chapter in life after being incarcerated.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities are creating new prison-to-college education programs to assist formerly incarcerated people of color with attaining a college degree. According to Parents, schools including Howard University, Clalflin University, and Lane college are working to invest in such programs that are structured towards teaching skills that can be used to attain a job, start a business, and further life skills.

Reports have proven that prison education programs help reduce the repeating behavioral habits that are known to get formerly incarcerated people locked up.

Entrepreneur and international speaker, Ileka Falette states, “So many are being weaned for this from a very young age in our community. Knowing that so many return to prison after that first time due to a lack of resources and discrimination when stepping back into society, having a program like this at HBCUs is exactly what we need.” The mother of three explains that HBCUs serve students from a lot of diverse backgrounds and would welcome Black men and women who have made some mistakes to be able to step back into society and live the life they deserve after “paying their debt.”

Incarcerated people of color are granted a second chance at creating a better life through programs that target their personal and professional growth. According to a McKinsey study, HBCUs hold a critical position in the impact on the African American community through their unique abilities to accelerate black economic mobility and produce economic opportunities.

“HBCUs are incredibly innovative in the way they provide access and resources to students who are historically underserved,” says HBCU graduate and best-selling author, Claudia Walker. She explains the importance of the establishment of HBCUs for people of African descent who were enslaved. These institutions understood access to education was the greatest form of liberation and such programs address systemic inequality, a factor that has been an obstacle in the advancement of the Black community.

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