Alvin Community College was named one of 67 American colleges and universities in the nation selected to participate in the Second Chance Pell pilot program, which will provide grant funds for prisoners seeking a higher education.

“ACC is very excited to take part in this program,” President Dr. Christal M. Albrecht said. “We were the first college in Texas to offer college courses to inmates. The Second Chance Pell Program will allow us to build on an already successful venture with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.”

The U.S. Department of Education announced the program in July 2015 to test whether participation in high quality education programs increases after expanding access to financial aid for incarcerated individuals.

The pilot program will allow eligible incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants and pursue postsecondary education with the goal of helping them get jobs and support their families when they are released. The program is intended to create a fairer and more effective criminal justice system, reduce recidivism, and combat the impact of mass incarceration on families and communities through educational opportunity.

Research has consistently shown that access to education drastically reduces an inmate’s likelihood to commit another offense.

“We are looking forward to an even larger impact we can make with this population,” Albrecht said