Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

                                               NEWS RELEASE                                                                              

                                                                                                           NOVEMBER 29, 2001         



(Columbus)  --- Ohio was one of three states selected to participate in a national study on the effects of prison education programs on recidivism.  The three-year study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted by the Correctional Education Association, showed that 22 percent of inmates who attended education classes in prison returned after three years, versus almost 31 percent who had not participated.  The effects on female prisoners was even more dramatic, with fewer than eight percent of inmates who had participated in education classes returning to prison; versus thirty a percent return rate among women who had not participated. 

The study, which included inmates from Maryland and Minnesota as well as Ohio, was featured in a New York Times article on November 16, 2001.  The study’s lead author, Stephen J. Steurer of the Correctional Education Association, was quoted in the article as saying that for every dollar spent on education in prison, two dollars are saved by the cost of non re-incarceration.

Three thousand inmates were evaluated in the research study including 1,234 inmates from the state of Ohio.  In all three states the recidivism rate was significantly lower for those inmates who participated in education.  “We hope that the results of this study will help build a consensus among important stakeholders that education is important in any setting,” said Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Reginald A. Wilkinson. “Inmates have several strikes against them when they attempt to reenter society.  An education can help level the playing field somewhat,”  he added. “Studies such as this one illustrate the wisdom of supporting positive inmate programs,” he asserted.

Education is given a high priority in DRC, with outstanding results over the past ten years:

·        Over 10,000 inmates have earned literacy certificates; 39 multi-disciplinary Literacy Units are operating, with    4,600 inmates enrolled, and 2,400 inmate tutors assisting in a nationally-recognized tutoring program

·        Over 18,000 have earned high school diplomas or General Education Equivalency certificates

·        Almost 10,000 have successfully completed vocational education trades training

·        Over 7,000 inmates have earned post-secondary advanced employment skills certificates

For more information on the study or on DRC’s educational programs, contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.