An old topic has circled back around, this time making a greater impact.
It all started in 1993 when a total of $34 million in Pell grants was
awarded to prisoners. Since then, there has been much debate about whether
or not it was right for prisoners to receive these kinds of funds that
derive from the pockets of taxpayers. However, in 2013, a study produced
by the Rand Corp. reported that inmates who took part in education programs
while imprisoned were far less likely to commit crimes after their release.
For this reason, a reemergence of the topic has surfaced.
One former inmate, Tyrone Werts, speaks about his experience with an education
he was able to receive through a Pell grant. He shares his story and explains
how his chance at education while behind bars affected his life and he
explains why he believes it can change the lives of other prisoners as well.
At the age of 23, Werts began his 37-year imprisonment term for contributing
to a deadly robbery that landed him with a second-degree murder conviction.
He speaks about his skill-levels stating that when he had entered prison,
he had the reading and math levels of a second-grader. His desire to achieve
more grew. One day, he was given the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor’s
degree through a program founded by Villanova University for prison education.
He spent much of his hours in prison studying and writing papers, alongside
other prisoner-students pursuing an education in order to change their futures.
He explained that because of the education he received, he was able to
see his future clearer and desire more than the past he once knew. After
Werts was released, he became part of Temple University’s Inside-Out
Program where he helped other prisoners, who were recently released, successfully
re-assimilate into society enter. Through this experience, Wert reports
that he was able to see a large difference between those former-prisoners
that received an education than those who did not.
Why Should Prisoners Be Permitted an Education Through Pell Grants?
The Orange County criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Virginia
L. Landry, Inc. believe that by allowing prisoners to receive an education
while behind bars, and by supplying a way that will help these prisoners
afford an education, society may be able to benefit as a whole. Our firm
believes in second chances, we believe in a person’s ability to
make a turn for the best, and for this reason, we support the cause.
The Orange County criminal defense attorneys at our firm believe all people deserve the chance to change their lives
for the better. We stand by you.