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Prison Research Meets Practice: A Conversation on Postsecondary Education in Prison

Join the Urban Institute for a conversation about postsecondary education for people who are incarcerated and how research and lessons from on-the-ground implementation can expand and improve these opportunities. Studies have highlighted various postrelease benefits to education in prison, including higher likelihood of desistence and better employment opportunities. With this year’s reinstatement of Pell grants for those who are incarcerated, the field is at a critical juncture for understanding how we can expand these opportunities while ensuring high-quality programming for students.

This discussion pairs Erin L. Castro, a seasoned researcher on postsecondary education in prison, with Terrell Blount, a formerly incarcerated leader who is working to expand and improve postsecondary education opportunities for people affected by the criminal legal system.



  • Terrell A. Blount, Executive Director, Formerly Incarcerated College Graduates Network
  • Erin L. Castro, Associate Dean, Access and Communities Engagement, and Executive Director, Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison, University of Utah
  • David Pitts, Interim Associate Vice President and Senior Research Fellow, Urban Institute (moderator)



The Urban Institute’s Prison Research and Innovation Initiative makes efforts to build evidence and spur innovation to make prisons more humane, safe, and rehabilitative environments. With support from Arnold Ventures, this Initiative leverages research and evidence to shine a much-needed light on prison conditions and pilot strategies to promote the well-being of people who are confined and work behind bars. In this series, Prison Research Meets Practice, Urban will draw on the expertise of researchers and practitioners to bridge communication divides, draw national attention to the problem of prisons in America, and ignite change. Please join the Urban Institute for these conversations between practitioners and researchers to better understand the issues we face in the quest to #TransformPrisons.


Funding for this event was provided by Arnold Ventures. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Tuesday, June 27, 2023

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