Education Reduces Recidivism and Public Spending

By: Edovo Jul 14, 2016

Issue Statement

Lack of education is a leading cause of recidivism in the United States today. Recidivism is costly and preventable. A growing body of research demonstrates the correlation between educational and vocational training in correctional settings and successful reentry post-incarceration.

  1. Approximately one in 15 state discretionary spending dollars is allocated to corrections related expenditures.
    The cycle of incarceration and reincarceration costs states more than $50 billion a year.

  2. Despite heightened spending on corrections, rates of recidivism in the United States continue to soar.
    Four in ten prisoners will be reincarcerated within three years after release.

  3. Limited academic and vocational programming in correctional settings hinders prisoners' preparedness for reentry into their communities, increasing the likelihood of reincarceration.
    When compared to the general population, federal and state prisoners are twice as likely to lack a high school credential, inhibiting job readiness and access to employment.


National data supports the use of education as a tool to curb reincarceration. A RAND Corporation study from 2013 found that education is shown to decrease recidivism by 43%. Researchers in the field promote a combination of enhanced information technology and improved instructional quality in correctional learning settings as a strategy to reduce recidivism. High quality, integrated educational platforms, such as Edovo educational tablets, will lead this new phase of correctional reform.

Looking Ahead

Experts advocate for policy solutions that prioritize education for the incarcerated population. For every dollar spent on adult correctional education, five dollars are saved on three-year reincarceration costs. Such a strategy is expected to significantly reduce public expenditures, contribute to economic growth and increase overall educational attainment.