"Study on the "Inside" to make it on the Outside"
NEW DIRECTIONS EDUCATION PROJECT (NDEP)
PO Box 393
Pendleton, OR 97801
We Reduce Recidivism
According to statistics from the Oregon Department of Corrections presentation at the Oregon Criminal Defense Law Association annual conference June, 2013, the Oregon recidivism rate is approximately 26.5%. This figure means that of the 14,365 inmates in Oregon corrections at that time, over 3800 were likely to be convicted of new felonies within three years. The average cost to house each prison inmate is about $84.81 per day. Research has shown that education, job training, and treatment are most effective at reducing recidivism. Recidivism rates drop down to 14% for those earning an AA degree, 6% for a BA, and 0% for an MA. Each percentage point drop in recidivism represents a reduction of about $4.3 million in annual costs to taxpayers.
These bare statistics don't tell the entire story of why education is so critical to changing the lives of prisoners. The stories our students provide us reveal that it is also the journey that moves them from failure and crime to hope and success. Some of them become readers and writers for the first time. Some hear encouragement and praise for hard work and learn how to build on each previous step. They learn to persevere, study, and manage their time effectively, possibly for the first time. They see small but honest effort result in ongoing improvement and apply this to other aspects of their lives. They also share their success in education with their families. Many are the first in their family to achieve any higher education. New Directions students talk about their journey with their children and encourage them to work hard in school. The men become role models to others--but more importantly, to themselves.
We celebrate the men who earn a degree, but even those who attend only one class and complete it successfully learn things about themselves that can change their lives.