Prison & Reentry Program


The Social Policy Institute will be partnering with LaunchCode and the Missouri Department of Corrections on a three-year study of their new Prison and Reentry Program. This coding education program is expected to help currently incarcerated persons build social, human, and financial capital in their pathways to higher education and high-skilled employment. The research will also demonstrate the return on investment for this innovative program—strengthening the argument for policies that facilitate program expansion.

The research will be broken into three phases. The first phase will evaluate the short-term impacts of participation such as building problem-solving skills, social-emotional skills and habits of the mind. The second phase will evaluate long-term impacts, such as social, educational and economic outcomes. In the third phase of our research, we will conduct a return on investment (ROI) analysis of the program and consider its cost-effectiveness.

By demonstrating the impact of innovative prison education programs—those that focus on high-growth, high-value and high-tech skills while providing a concrete link to employment through apprenticeships—we will be able to offer policy-makers a new method for improving the lives of individuals when they start the critical re-entry period from incarceration. This can increase social mobility for formerly incarcerated individuals and ultimately reduce rates of recidivism.