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WHEREAS, the NAACP is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the world that stands for the principles of equal justice, freedom and equality for all; and
WHEREAS, the prison branch of the Lakeland Correctional Facility has documented the need for a national plan of action for prison reform to promote access and funding for higher education; and
WHEREAS, research reveals that incarcerated persons who do not hold high school diplomas stand a 60% greater chance of returning to prison, while those who earn an associates degree have only a 13.7% chance of re-incarceration and those who earn at least a bachelor's degree stand only a 5.6% risk of recidivism; and
WHEREAS, an aggressive higher education reform program supported by the NAACP will lower the rate of re-entry and re-offenders while heightening the quality of life of the total community; and
WHEREAS, the public must be made aware of the critical role that higher education can play in the rehabilitative and transformation process of those who are currently incarcerated or who were previously incarcerated; and
WHEREAS, all government agencies have the duty and responsibility to address and allocate resources needed to address the needs of incarcerated persons, the communities from which they emerge and the communities where they will return; and
WHEREAS, African Americans and other people of color suffer disproportionately from a lack of higher education and public support in the rehabilitative and trans-formative process of incarcerated persons.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP establishes or restores higher education programs for persons incarcerated in correctional institutions; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP units support adequate funding for educational resources & tax incentives that promote volunteers and community participation in correctional facilities.