The Department of Philosophy at Western Michigan University is developing a Prison Education Program, through which both graduate students and faculty from the Department of Philosophy teach college courses to incarcerated undergraduate students. The program’s mission is to educate, challenge, and inspire students to achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals. Credits earned through the program can be transferred to other degree-granting institutions.
A 2013 study by Davis et al. found that incarcerated individuals who participate in prison education programs are 43 percent less likely to recidivate than those who do not, which increases public safety. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, moreover, every dollar invested in prisoner education yields four to five dollars of taxpayer savings due to reduced incarceration costs.