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Milwaukee school to participate in grant program for inmates

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Area Technical College is one of 67 college and universities across the country set to participate in a revival of a federal Pell Grant program for prisoners.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the program will allow the federal grants to be used to cover college costs for prisoners for the first time since Congress excluded them from student aid in 1994.

The program will make about $30 million in grants available to nearly 12,000 inmates in more than 20 states.

The technical college will use program to expand a re-entry program for prisoners started in 2015. Forty-seven inmates received certificates in computerized machining through the program.

Trevor Kubatzke, vice president of student services for the campus, says the program is about preparing inmates for the workforce rather than just learning specific machining skills.

“It’s not just the training in the classroom, it also includes things like, when they’re ready, how do they write a resume? How do we get job skills in there?” Kubatzke said.

The Milwaukee school plans to enroll 250 grant-supported prisoners in the expanded re-entry program.

According to a 2013 study from the nonprofit RAND Corp., prisoners who participated in a correctional education program are 43 percent less likely to return to prison within three years than those who do not participate.

The RAND Corp. estimates that the country has about 1.5 million inmates.

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