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Lawmakers Want To Provide Prisoners With An Education

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Pro Photography Network
RAND Corporation

The Florida Legislature is moving ahead with a plan to provide prisoners with an education. The bill is headed to the Senate floor.

The transition from prison back into society can be difficult. Recently released ex-convicts often struggle with finding housing and transportation, let alone a stable job. But lawmakers are hoping to change that.

A proposal in the Senate would allow county prisons to partner with local schoolboards or state colleges to provide classes and vocational training to inmates.

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) says the bill plays an important step in rehabilitating inmates.

“This is going to become a national model," says Brandes. "I think what Senator Rouson has done here will really, truly be something that the rest of the country will pick up on and allow individuals who are incarcerated to leave their place of incarceration and be able to walk out the next day and get a job in a licensed profession.” 

The measure would allow prisoners with less than 48 months left on their sentence to receive postsecondary education, and to find out if they’re eligible for a professional license upon release.

Shawn Mulcahy is a reporter and All Things Considered host for WFSU. He graduated from Florida State University in 2019 with majors in public relations and political science. He was previously an intern at WFSU, and worked as an Account Coordinator at RB Oppenheim Associates.