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Trone Leads Effort to Allow Pell Grants for Inmates

July 28th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Friday, Representative David Trone (D- MD) along with Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Susie Lee (D-NV), announced the introduction of the bipartisan Expanding Educational Opportunities for Justice-Impacted Communities Act. The new bill would repeal the ban on the receipt of Pell Grants by incarcerated individuals and the loss of federal financial aid eligibility for individuals convicted of certain drug offenses. The group will seek to pass the bill when Congress takes up the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this fall. 

The policies this bill would reverse were both adopted during the “tough on crime” era and have severely limited access to postsecondary education among justice-impacted communities. Higher education is proven to reduce recidivism and to secure employment opportunities of justice-involved individuals. Repealing the Pell ban would save states an estimated total of $365.8 million per year as a result of reduced recidivism rates and reincarceration spending. 

“This bill unleashes potential, reduces recidivism, and creates opportunity for those impacted by the criminal justice system,” said Rep. David Trone (D-MD). “I’ve seen the impact an education has on incarcerated students first-hand — it changes lives and improves our communities. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will help give those impacted by the criminal justice system access to a better future.”

“The best way to ensure someone doesn’t return to prison after being released is to help them with access to a quality education. This bill will empower these individuals to make significant changes to their lives once they are released,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE). “The rate of recidivism in America is too high and I am pleased to join Congressman Trone and others in introducing and supporting this legislation, that can make a significant impact in the lives of many who strive to improve their lives.”

“To expand educational opportunities, we must see education as a right that can create a path for those impacted by the criminal justice system,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). “The Expanding Educational Opportunities for Justice-Impacted Communities Act is a bipartisan bill that will expand access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students and eliminate the conviction question on FAFSA forms. This important legislation will help reduce recidivism and provide robust educational opportunities for so many who have been impacted by the criminal justice system. What’s more, this legislation is a great step towards addressing the economic and social realities that drive mass incarceration, especially in communities of color.”

“Ending the Pell Grant ban for incarcerated people reaffirms that every person deserves a chance to get a good education,” said Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV). “Those impacted by the criminal justice system have very few opportunities to succeed when they reenter society, and education is the best way to change that. I’m proud to support this bipartisan bill that strengthens communities, saves states money by lowering recidivism rates, and gives people a second chance to get a quality education.”

For more information about the Expanding Educational Opportunities for Justice-Impacted Communities Act, see below:

Legislation Overview

Bill Text

Section by Section

4 Responses to “Trone Leads Effort to Allow Pell Grants for Inmates”

  1. July 28, 2019 at 7:14 am, Steve said:

    There are a whole lot of LAW abiding Citizens that should be taken care of before we assist folks who break the law. What are you elected Officials thinking? Come on!!

    Reply

  2. July 28, 2019 at 10:18 am, Hank said:

    What about our homeless veterans who SERVED their country!!!!

    Reply

  3. July 28, 2019 at 11:34 am, Joe Wellberg said:

    Trone is an example of the dems old way of helping criminals and not helping law abiding people. However the President is known for being a paper tiger lately

    Reply

  4. July 28, 2019 at 3:07 pm, LRH said:

    Sooo glad we got a Representative inflicted on us who reflects my values. NOT

    Reply

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