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Old 03-29-2004, 10:35 PM
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Default Breaking the cycle - Mentors & College scholarships to kids of FL inmates

Mar 26, 7:13 PM

A state effort to provide a college education for the children of prison inmates is worth a look


Apilot program offering mentors and college scholarships to the children of some Florida prison inmates is a compassionate approach to ending the destructive cycle in which a life of crime is passed on from parent to child.

That said, the program must be carefully monitored to ensure the aid offered is not restricted only to children of prisoners who participate in Gov. Jeb Bush's faith-based prisons initiatives.

Close follow-up studies are also needed to be sure the program achieves its goal of breaking the horrific patterns of crime and imprisonment that are a fact of life for too many Florida families.

Called Children of Prisoners, Children of Promise, the $500,000 program will provide mentors for some 60 children of inmates through middle and high school, including one Brevard County youth.

Those who meet strict academic and behavioral requirements can be awarded scholarships for up to four years of college or vocational training.

Most of the funding will come from corporations, but taxpayer dollars will cover other costs for the program, which is expected to expand in coming years.

We believe that's a legitimate use of state money. Some 60,000 children around the state have parents in prison, and many face nearly insurmountable odds for staying off criminal paths and becoming productive citizens.

In fact, federal studies indicate such children are seven times more likely to end up imprisoned themselves than other children.

Florida's Take Stock in Children mentoring and scholarship campaign has successfully shown such initiatives bear fruit by helping thousands of low-income students to improve academically and go on to college.

Extending such opportunities to the children of inmates may also prove successful, and that will benefit not only the children it serves, but society, with a lowered crime rate and fewer dollars spent on jail costs.

But program administrators must quickly extend the program's currently restricted reach to children whose inmate parents do not live in faith-based dormitories.

Not to do so unfairly deprives their children of a shot at this precious opportunity.

Some may question the wisdom of giving inmates' children educational benefits while many law-abiding citizens struggle to provide for their offspring.

That's especially a concern when programs that help Florida families send kids to college -- such as Bright Futures scholarships and the Prepaid College program --are under threat due to rising tuition costs and state budget shortages.

But we think giving a step up to inmates' children -- who must climb a much steeper and treacherous mountain to reach success than others -- is a worthy endeavor.

All children deserve the chance to obtain a higher education, so let's improve chances for these at-risk youngsters as part of a broader resolve by state leaders to keep a college education financially possible for ordinary families.

http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROOM/opedstory0329WPRISON.htm
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Old 07-24-2005, 09:43 PM
Thehoneymom Thehoneymom is offline
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Does anyone know how to utilize this scholarship fund. I have a kid finishing high school who wants/need to go to college! If any one knows how to apply for this aid please let me know! Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemesis
Mar 26, 7:13 PM

A state effort to provide a college education for the children of prison inmates is worth a look


Apilot program offering mentors and college scholarships to the children of some Florida prison inmates is a compassionate approach to ending the destructive cycle in which a life of crime is passed on from parent to child.

That said, the program must be carefully monitored to ensure the aid offered is not restricted only to children of prisoners who participate in Gov. Jeb Bush's faith-based prisons initiatives.

Close follow-up studies are also needed to be sure the program achieves its goal of breaking the horrific patterns of crime and imprisonment that are a fact of life for too many Florida families.

Called Children of Prisoners, Children of Promise, the $500,000 program will provide mentors for some 60 children of inmates through middle and high school, including one Brevard County youth.

Those who meet strict academic and behavioral requirements can be awarded scholarships for up to four years of college or vocational training.

Most of the funding will come from corporations, but taxpayer dollars will cover other costs for the program, which is expected to expand in coming years.

We believe that's a legitimate use of state money. Some 60,000 children around the state have parents in prison, and many face nearly insurmountable odds for staying off criminal paths and becoming productive citizens.

In fact, federal studies indicate such children are seven times more likely to end up imprisoned themselves than other children.

Florida's Take Stock in Children mentoring and scholarship campaign has successfully shown such initiatives bear fruit by helping thousands of low-income students to improve academically and go on to college.

Extending such opportunities to the children of inmates may also prove successful, and that will benefit not only the children it serves, but society, with a lowered crime rate and fewer dollars spent on jail costs.

But program administrators must quickly extend the program's currently restricted reach to children whose inmate parents do not live in faith-based dormitories.

Not to do so unfairly deprives their children of a shot at this precious opportunity.

Some may question the wisdom of giving inmates' children educational benefits while many law-abiding citizens struggle to provide for their offspring.

That's especially a concern when programs that help Florida families send kids to college -- such as Bright Futures scholarships and the Prepaid College program --are under threat due to rising tuition costs and state budget shortages.

But we think giving a step up to inmates' children -- who must climb a much steeper and treacherous mountain to reach success than others -- is a worthy endeavor.

All children deserve the chance to obtain a higher education, so let's improve chances for these at-risk youngsters as part of a broader resolve by state leaders to keep a college education financially possible for ordinary families.

http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROOM/opedstory0329WPRISON.htm
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