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Briefing on Unlocking Higher Education for Justice-Involved People
July 25, 2019 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT

Briefing on Unlocking Higher Education for Justice-Involved People

Thursday, July 25th at 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

The Unlock Higher Ed Coalition, in coordination with Reps. David Trone and Danny Davis, invites you and your staff to join an important conversation with a panel of directly impacted advocates to discuss the value of restoring higher education opportunities for people with criminal convictions.

The Unlock Higher Ed coalition is a broad group of stakeholders focused on advancing policies to increase educational access for formerly and currently incarcerated individuals. Our mission is to amplify the voices of these individuals in pursuit of these policies.


  • Dr. Stanley Andrisse, Executive Director and Founder of From Prisons Cells to PhDs, Baltimore, MD (Facilitator)
  • Jay Holder, Center for Justice, Columbia University, New York, NY, and Beneficiary of the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative
  • Danielle Metz, Community Health Worker, Formerly Incarcerated Transition Clinic, New Orleans, LA and Granted Clemency by President Obama in 2016
  • Miea Walker, Criminal Justice Manager, Forward Justice, Raleigh, NC and Member of the Governor’s State Reentry Council Collaborative
  • Jarrod Wall, Ph.D student at Tulane University and Melon Fellow for Community-Engaged Research, Huntington, IN
  • Via Teleconference and To Be Confirmed: Two Second Chance Educational Alliance Students from MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, Suffield, CT

Federal policies enacted during the “tough on crime” era have barred incarcerated individuals from receiving Pell Grants and cut off aid to students convicted of a drug offense. In recent years, however, there has been bipartisan momentum in Congress to support returning residents and to reexamine impediments to successful reentry. Panelists will speak from both professional and personal lived experience to the value of lifting higher education barriers and the transformative power of completing higher education following a criminal conviction.

How did enrollment in Second Chance Pell Experimental Initiatives improve outcomes for incarcerated individuals and participating correctional institutions? Why is it important to restore Pell Grants for all incarcerated individuals regardless of sentence length? What are some common misconceptions about providing higher education opportunities to individuals with justice-involvement? Panelists will address these questions and discuss the real-world ways that accessing higher education has improved their lives and the lives of their justice-involved peers, as well as positively changed their communities.

We encourage you attend this timely briefing on July 25th. Space is limited. Please RSVP using this link.