Utah Department of Corrections

Prison Education Helps Offenders, Saves Taxpayers


KSL recently aired a story noting the importance of post-secondary education - and education more broadly - in prison. The story cited a University of Utah study that showed a great deal of return on investment for each dollar put toward inmate education. In addition to saving taxpayers in the long run, the programs increase an offender's opportunities to succeed in our communities upon release from prison.

The vast majority of funding for inmate post-secondary education comes from an inmate phone surcharge account - fees collected when offenders call family and friends. All of the funds the State collects from that fee are placed back into inmate education. This accounts for approximately $750,000 of the total $1.2 million spent on inmate education. The remaining $400,000 comes from the State's general fund.

Corrections thanks its partners at Davis Applied Technology, Uintah Basin Technology, and Snow College for administering vocational trade programs, which teach inmate on-the-job skills that will help them land work upon their release. Inmates still shoulder costs for their education, as many take on promissory notes and are responsible to begin repaying their student debt beginning two years after the termination of their sentence.

Click here (or the photo above) for the KSL story.