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JCC Awarded College-in-Prison Reentry Program Funds

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. have announced the award of $7.3 million to fund educational programming at 17 New York State prisons over the next five years. The College-in-Prison Reentry Program is being funded through the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII). It will create more than 2,500 seats for college-level education and training for incarcerated New Yorkers in 17 correctional facilities. This program will significantly increase the likelihood of successful reentry into the community thereby reducing recidivism rates across the state.

Jefferson Community College (JCC) is among those organizations that is receiving funding, over $665,175 for five years. With CJII funds, JCC will expand programming at the Cape Vincent Correctional Facility and offer courses at the Gouverneur and Watertown Correctional facilities. Incarcerated students will take Liberal Arts core courses in Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and be guided to take courses that fit their specific career and educational goals. The College is committed to developing a re-entry support structure that includes individualized education and career planning and extensive referral services. The College intends to partners with community agencies to support the successful transition of students.

“I am so pleased Jefferson was selected to continue and expand higher education within the local prison system,” said President Ty A. Stone. “We are an open access institution and previously offered educational programming at all three correctional facilities until funding was discontinued in the 1990’s. For five years we were fortunate to be able to offer a small scale program at the Cape Vincent Correctional Facility, however the College-in-Prison Reentry Program partnership will allow Jefferson to expand the college education program and once again include the Watertown and Gouverneur facilities. For qualified inmates, this is an opportunity to earn credits toward an associate’s degree or technical certificate to prepare for a productive life when they return to the community.”

This work and these funds are a part of District Attorney Vance’s $250 million Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII), which consists of a comprehensive set of strategic investments that, together, will have a significant, lasting impact on public safety and justice reform in New York City. Providing education in prisons is crucial in preparing individuals for a successful reentry into the community, reduce the rate of recidivism and improve public safety. More information about the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative is available at