Lawmakers Endorse Pell Grant Eligibility for the Incarcerated

Maria Perez SAVE THIS

Incarcerated men read books and write papers at a library inside the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary located in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice men’s prison in Rosharon, Texas, August 12, 2014. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif).

A recently re-introduced bill would restore Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated people and expand their educational opportunities.

The bipartisan and bicameral bill, the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act of 2019, was re-introduced by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), French Hill (R-Ark.), and Representative Cedric Richmond (D-La.) last week, according to a news release. The legislation will “strengthen successful reentry and economic growth” by reinstating the Pell Grant — a federal subsidy for students who haven’t earned a bachelor’s degree, which does not have to be repaid — granting aid for incarcerated people and expanding postsecondary education in prison.

“To ensure that formerly incarcerated individuals have the tools…

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