Pell Grants & Prisoners

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.

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