by: Charles Lewis
St. Francis College provides tuition free education for formerly incarcerated individuals through state funding, federal funding, and private grants.
Founded in 2014, the Post Prison Program, co-directed by Dr. Emily Horowitz and Dr. Eric Platt, assist formerly incarcerated men and women with pursuing their bachelor’s degree as full time students.
When asked why it’s so important that the men and women succeed in the program, Dr. Horowitz answered, “They are people like any other students and they get so much out of it. Deep friendships come about.”
With Dr. Platt’s response being, “We’ve all made mistakes so let he that is without sin cast the first stone. Not to mention that this program provides a softer landing, social support, and reduces recidivism.”
For the formerly incarcerated, education helps reduce the risk of recidivism and increases their chance to live a successful life. According to a study done by the National Institute of Justice, without a bachelor’s degree there’s a 60 percent chance formerly incarcerated individuals will head back to prison, however, with a bachelor’s degree their chance of reoffending decreases to 6 percent.
Thus far, the Post-Prison Program has served 14 participants, with the first cohort of three students graduating in May 2018 and 11 currently enrolled.
Following in our Franciscan tradition of service and hospitality, our school is providing a great service to those in need, and I for one am proud of St. Francis and feel honored to be a Terrier!