THE NEW YORK STATE LITERARY CENTER
Post Pandemic: Articles, Studies, and Surveys that are Relevant to Education in Correctional Settings
Compiled by Dale Davis
A Better Path Forward for Criminal Justice. A Report by the Brookings-AEI Working Group on Criminal Justice Reform. April 2021.
Most imprisoned people will be released into society, but are they prepared to rejoin their communities and avoid a return to prison? In Chapter 3, our experts note that the lack of vocational training,
education, and reentry programs makes reintegration difficult for the formerly imprisoned. They propose programming such as cognitive behavioral therapy, education, and personal development to help ease this transition.
The Anna E. Casey Foundation. Survey: A Pandemic. February 2021. https://www.aecf.org/blog/survey-a-pandemic-high-for-the-number-of-black-youth-in-juvenile-detention/?fbclid=IwAR2lw-H5YjcrUQPVKVneDng2r30OisTSwW8J1CMBDqs77QYboLMnUscjcAg
A survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of youth justice agencies finds the population of Black youth in juvenile
detention on Feb. 1, 2021, reached a pandemic high, while that of white youth was the second lowest recorded in more than a year.
The experiences between Black and white youth diverged the most when it came to the pace at which they were released from detention. Black youth stayed longer in detention than their white peers — and
even longer than before the pandemic began. The difference in release rates between youth of color and white youth was the largest ever recorded in this survey.
The Anna E. Casey Foundation. Voices From The Field: Implementing Programs That Advance Equity. May 2021. https://www.aecf.org/blog/voices-from-the-field-implementing-programs-that-advance-equity/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=blog&utm_term=casey-facebook&fbclid=IwAR0RvdmbBD35aCpIDuGk08OSyiGYN2pQ4txAYXwpOud63vaMET3BwUtxcxQ
issue of Stanford
Social Innovation Review https://ssir.org/supplement/bringing_equity_to_implementation# — from Stanford University — includes a special supplement sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The supplement explores how social change leaders can use implementation science to improve the lives of children, young people and families in a way that also advances equity. It spans 10 articles,
including entries co-authored by community members with researchers, funders and staff of community-based organizations.
Garnet Henderson. Writing Dance, From Inside a Prison. Dance Magazine. April 2021. https://www.dancemagazine.com/dancing-through-prison-walls-2651296879.html
The collaboration and sense of community among artists inside and outside the prison has always been a major element of choreographer and Scripps College educator Suchi Branfman's project. "It has
been impactful for those of us coming in from what folks inside call the 'free world,' as well as the folks inside the building," says Branfman. "As much as we can, we try to replicate the studio environment, and create a
sense of being able to move freely. People on the inside exist under a constant state of surveillance, with extremely limited movement, lack of contact and lack of free space. But we create a community space, and we all cherish it."
Heather Hunt and Gene Nichol. The Price of Poverty in North Carolina’s Juvenile Justice System. North Carolina Poverty Research Fund. Spring 2021.
North Carolina’s juvenile justice system is filled with poor kids. The direct and indirect costs imposed by the juvenile system come down hardest on those families with the fewest resources. When they
are unable to pay the price the system demands, youth and parents are punished in ways that perpetuate poverty. These costs intensify economic hardship, push poor youth deeper into the juvenile system, jeopardize rehabilitation, endanger
future prospects and entrench poverty and racial disparities.
Justin George. “What Are Inmates Learning in Prison? Not Much.” The Marshall Project. May 31, 2017.
A survey of 2,000 federal prisoners reveals big gaps in teaching reentry skills.
“No one ever fails any class,” said another inmate. “Everyone receives a certificate, whether you attend every class/study for hours or just come in at the beginning, sign in, and leave.
The certificates really don’t mean anything when you do it that way.”
A report released Thursday by the advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums provided an inside look at educational opportunities within the federal prison system that inmates say suffers from a
glaring lack of trained instructors and a scarcity of classes.
Jeroslyn Johnson. “Bard College Makes Tuition Free for Formerly Incarcerated Students.” Black
Enterprise, April 29, 2021.
Scholars are taught a curriculum that aims to foster the growth of future community leaders and social justice initiatives. Eligible applicants include those who were formerly incarcerated, impacted by the prison system, or seeking careers in advocacy work.
Aleks Kakstura. “Women’s Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019.” Prison Policy Initiative. October 29, 2019. https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2019women.html?fbclid=IwAR37Nx03LxoWRQw94vHFPdF2r-fXSoUHxIyERfPxlFdB9EuwyvNIKj0q_OI
In stark contrast to the total
incarcerated population, where the state prison systems hold twice as many people as are held in jails, more incarcerated women are held in jails than in state prisons. The
outsized role of jails has serious consequences for incarcerated women and their families.
Kathy Kuhn. “The U.S Spends Billions to Lock People Up, but Very Little to Help Them Once They are Released.” PBS News Hour. April 7, 2021.
It’s not just the dollars and cents of funding that are the problem in reentry, she said. It’s the way the people who make those budgets, and their constituents, continue to view incarceration
as a solution to society’s ills. Changing policy, which many reentry programs also lobby for, is a first step to reframing the conversation about crime and people who are locked up.
Lawrence Bartley, Lisette Bamenga, Adria
Thomas and Wilbert
L. Cooper. “The Language Project.” The Marshall Project. April 12, 2021.
Journalism is a discipline of clarity. That’s why we’ve updated our rules for describing people who are in prison or jail.
Nicole Lewis. “How We Survived COVId-19 in Prison.” The Marshall Project. April 22, 2021.
At the start of the pandemic, we asked four incarcerated people to chronicle daily life with the coronavirus. Here, they reveal what they witnessed and how they coped with the chaos, fear, isolation and
Luke Muentner, Amita Kapoor, Lindsey Weymouth, Julie Poehlmann-Tynan. “Getting under the skin: Physiological stress and witnessing parental arrest in. young children with incarcerated father.” Developmental Psychobiology. February 25, 2021.
To study how witnessing a father's arrest prior to incarceration in jail relates to children's stress processes, we collected data on 123 individuals from 41 families with young children whose father was
in jail, including collecting hair from 41 children, and analyzed their cumulative stress hormones, cortisol, and cortisone. Results indicate that children had higher cumulative stress hormone concentrations when they witnessed their
father's arrest. Moreover, there was evidence of a blunted stress reaction in children who witnessed the arrest and who also had high levels of ongoing behavioral stress symptoms,
similar to findings in Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder studies. Long‐term exposure to stress can have deleterious effects on
children's brain development, further increasing risk for developmental psychopathology. Findings have implications for criminal justice approaches that safeguard children during parental arrest.
“Reflections on Building a Partnership with Corrections. A Resource Guide for College-In-Prison Programs.” John Jay College Institute for Justice and Opportunity.
This guide is part of an effort to provide college providers with the necessary tools for developing programs that are responsive to the unique environment of correctional facilities. While designed
specifically for college programs that operate in New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) facilities, this guide may also be useful for organizations and colleges that wish to establish or enhance
Maisie Sparks. “Today’s Underground Railroad: From jail to freedom with education.” Christian Science Monitor. April 26, 2021. https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/2021/0426/Today-s-Underground-Railroad-From-jail-to-freedom-with-education?cmpid=shared-facebook&fbclid=IwAR3kGUsp1m591PODD6plfWGO2kxMqKvvgwLr30uj5H-ufjfhPAJBc36Trww
Jia Johnson has seen firsthand the hardship of incarceration on those behind bars and those back home. She’s also seen how theological education nurtures humanity – at both ends of the
Sara Weissman. “Education Behind and Beyond Bars.” Inside Higher Ed. May 18, 2021.
Spurred by the national focus on racial justice and socioeconomic disparities revealed by the pandemic, the country's higher education institutions and philanthropists are ramping up efforts to serve
students currently or formerly in prison.
The growth in prison higher education and workforce training opportunities comes on the heels of a sea change this academic year for all students, including those in prison. The murder of George Floyd last
summer and the protests that followed prompted higher education leaders to re-examine their criminal justice programs, campus policing practices and initiatives to recruit and retain students of color.