On February 22, 2017, AIR hosted a presentation and discussion on a recently released report using data from the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) titled Highlights from the U.S. PIAAC Survey of Incarcerated Adults: Their Skills, Work Experience, Education, and Training (PDF). This report provided information on skills and competencies of the incarcerated adults, comparing to that of adults in U.S. households. The report also reported on the extent of inmates’ participation in formal education, empowerment classes (such as parenting or personal finance management), and job training programs.
Compared to the household population, the incarcerated population is disproportionately male, Black, and Hispanic, relatively younger, and has lower levels of educational attainment. About 30 percent of U.S. incarcerated adults performed at low levels of literacy (below Level 2) and about half of them at low levels of numeracy (below Level 2), compared to about 20 percent and 30 percent of adults in U.S. households, respectively. A large majority of incarcerated adults (94 percent) have either a high school degree or below. About 20 percent of incarcerated adults are currently studying for a formal degree, with 70 percent expressing desire to do so to advance their education.
Links to more information about the report are available at the PIAAC Gateway.
Presenter: Stephen Provasnik, U.S. Technical Advisor for PIAAC, National Center for Education Statistics
Discussant: Lois M. Davis, Senior Policy Researcher and Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School, RAND Corporation
Moderator: John P. Linton, Director (retired) of the Office of Correctional Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
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The Research on International Studies in Education (RISE) Webinar Series showcases research using data from international studies and promotes sharing and discussion about how data-based evidence can be used for improving educational outcomes. The RISE Webinar Series is organized by AIR. To receive emails about RISE and invitations to upcoming webinars, please email RISE@air.org.