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Wednesday, November 4, 2015
GED Program Selection Review
GED Program Selection Review
Due to decreasing budget allocations or educational purposes, the DOC has decided to choose one of two programs to assist inmates with securing a GED. The first program is Education First; Education First has a cost of $500 per inmate, and a success rate of 50%. The second program is GED Prep, which has a cost of $5,000 per inmate and a success rate of 80%. GED Prep is 60% more effective as a program than Education First, but at costs of 1000% the rate of GED Prep. Now we must look at the costs of failure; 80% of inmates without a high school degree that are released return to prison, while 40% of inmates with a high school degree that are released return to prison. The cost of keeping an inmate in prison is at $32,000 per year.*
Let us compare the two programs per groups of 10 prisoners:
10 inmates at $500 each = $5,000
5 inmates pass, of whom 2 return to prison
2 recidivists at $32000 = $64,000
5 inmates fail, of whom 4 return to prison
4 recidivists at $32000 = $128,000
Total Cost of Education First for 1 year = $197,000
Cost of Education First per additional recidivist year of prison time = $192,000
10 inmates at $5000 each = $50,000
8 inmates pass, of whom 3.2 return to prison
3.2 recidivists at $32000 = $102,400
2 inmates fail, of whom 1.6 return to prison
1.6 recidivists at $32000 = $51,200
Total Cost of GED Prep = $203, 600
Cost of GED Prep per additional recidivist year of prison time = $153,600
In comparing the cost per year of these programs, there are two comparisons to make; the first of which is the initial cost, and the second is the cost per additional year of recidivist incarceration. There is a difference of $6,600 per 10 inmates per recidivist year in prison, or $660 per inmate for the initial year of prison time, with the Education First program being the cheaper. However, for every additional year of recidivist incarceration, GED Prep saves DOC $38,400 per 10 inmates, or $3,840 per inmate. To finalize the comparison, the average length of incarceration for recidivist offenders would be needed. However, figures provided by BJS would be inaccurate to use because “Inmates whose sentence was less than 1 year were also excluded” (Durose, Cooper, & Snyder, 2014, p ,17). The lack of accurate tracking is compounded by the fact that this is the population that would prove it cost effective to use the services of Education First.
The interim recommendation is to use the services of Education First until an accurate count of recidivist sentences can be compiled which compares the number of sentences with a duration under a year against an aggregate of sentencing in which the years after the first year were counted.
Durose, M. R., Cooper, A. D., & Snyder, H. N. (2014). Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/media/publications/BJS%20recidivism%20study,%202014.pdf
*All figures provided by DOC