Direct Services and Policy Work

“Prison Reform has to happen. It’s been ignored in this country for too long.”  — Bridget Williams, Board Member

Community Action for Change

Led by CCF, Just Leadership USA eio-logo and the Center for Community Alternatives, the Education from the Inside Out Coalition (EIO) is committed to the removal of barriers to higher education facing individuals with criminal justice involvement, including currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. Members and Supporters at EIO come together from across the country to affect change.

Current EIO Activities:

Campaign to Ban the Box in Higher Education: EIO supports efforts to end the use of criminal history screenings of applicants during the admission process at colleges and universities. Over the past decade, colleges and universities across the United States, including the State University of New York (SUNY), have increasingly included criminal history screenings in their admissions processes. These policies are being implemented despite the fact that there is virtually no evidence to suggest that past criminal histories of students are relevant risk factors that affect the rate of crime on campuses. At best, these screenings serve no legitimate purpose and at their worst, threaten to roll back the gains of Brown vs. Board of Education and violate the spirit of educational opportunity for all.

Campaigning Against Grant Eligibility Restrictions: EIO opposes federal and state bans on need-based financial aid for post-secondary correctional education, including the 1994 federal ban on Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students, along with the 1995 New York State ban on Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grant eligibility. The elimination of these funds decimated in-prison education in federal and state correctional institutions across the United States, to the detriment of students with criminal justice involvement, and despite the effectiveness of these education programs on reducing recidivism. Nationally, post-secondary correctional education programs fell from 350 to eight, and in New York State from 70 to four.

EIO works to lift these bans.

To learn more about the Education from the Inside Out Coalition, or to become a member of the Coalition, please visit our website at Or select “I’m interested in CCF’s advocacy and public policy work” in the Contact Us section of this website.