Lane College offers classes to incarcerated men at regional prison as part of the second chance Pell Experiment

News Articles

Lane College offers classes to incarcerated men at regional prison as part of the second chance Pell Experiment

Jun 14, 2021


Lane is one of 67 new schools announced in the program expansion

Today, Lane College began offering classes to inmates at the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, TN. At the successful completion of the program of study, students will be awarded Bachelor of Science degrees in Business.

In April 2020, the U.S. Department of Education expanded the Second-Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, a program that lets colleges provide need-based Pell Grants to people who are incarcerated in state or federal prisons. The expansion nearly doubled the number of colleges and states that initially participated in the program, adding 67 colleges to provide these grants. Prior to the expansion, 63 colleges in 26 states participated in the program. This expansion brings those numbers to 130 institutions in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

The vast majority of incarcerated people will one day return home. Research has shown that those who participate in education programs are less likely to return to prison once released, are more likely to find jobs and/or start businesses, and are better equipped to play productive and positive roles within their communities. Access to postsecondary education also improves prison safety for both incarcerated people and corrections employees alike.

“Lane’s entry into offering post-secondary education to incarcerated persons is both historic and exciting,’ said Lane president, Dr. Logan Hampton. “The essence of the Lane College Mission is to ‘develop the whole student.’ Our dedication to this essential component of our mission is to educate, develop, and transform the student wherever s/he is found…both beyond and behind the walls of prison. The men who complete their course of study and graduate will be released at the end of their sentence and enter the free world armed with an accredited degree that will open doors that would ordinarily and sadly be closed to them. I salute our newest students for their desire to obtain a liberal arts education and I am so pleased that Lane College can assist them in this endeavor.”

Lane’s initial cohort of students consists of 11 men. They are expected to graduate with their Lane College Bachelor degrees in the Spring and Fall of 2025.