America could save as much as $18.5 billion in annual crime costs if the high school male graduation rate increased by only five percentage points, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education.
“The nation needs to focus dollars and efforts on reforming school climates to keep students engaged in ways that will lead them toward college and a career and away from crime and prison,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “The school-to-prison pipeline starts and ends with schools.”
There is an indirect correlation between educational attainment and arrest and incarceration rates, particularly among males, the report found. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 56 percent of federal inmates, 67 percent of inmates in state prisons, and 69 percent of inmates in local jails did not complete high school. Additionally, the number of incarcerated individuals without a high school diploma is increasing over time.