How’s this for an idea?
Let’s reinstate Pell grants for people in prison. What are those? They are federal grants that help people pay for college who otherwise can’t. They require you to use the money for higher education and maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree.
People in prison were eligible for them until 1994 but then, not so much.
This well-researched essay explains why we should take the talented ones and give them a chance. It will motivate them to do better and stay out of trouble. It will teach them skills they can gainfully use when they get out. And as they benefit, the rest of us will, too, because they will hold down jobs, do useful things, pay more in taxes, and draw less on social services.
“Even if those of us on the right disagree with various aspects of federal higher-education policy, we cannot ignore the fact that, for the most part, people behind bars are some of the most financially disadvantaged in society—and the most capable of transforming educational opportunities into individual and societal benefits.”