What We Do
Formed in 1998, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison provides college education, life skills and reentry support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women to help them make a positive impact on their own lives, their families and communities, resulting in lower rates of recidivism, incarceration and poverty.
At a cost of $60,000 per year to incarcerate a single person compared with $5,000 in annual tuition fees to educate them, Hudson Link’s programs have saved New York State taxpayers over $21 million per year – and that number continues to rise. Hudson Link’s astonishingly low recidivism rate of less than 2% percent – compared to over 67% nationwide –is proof that the redemptive power of education is far more cost-effective than prison. Our alumni return to their families and communities as role models, and 85% are gainfully employed in the field of social services within three months of release.
Prior to 1994, there were more than 350 college programs inside U.S. prisons. In 1994, Congress abolished Pell grant eligibility for incarcerated persons, which provided nearly all funding for these programs. As a result, all but 8 college programs nationwide shut their doors.
Based on powerful evidence that education transforms lives, reduces recidivism and creates a positive ripple effect in communities, Hudson Link was founded in 1998 and is the only 501(c)3 non-profit in the US run by formerly incarcerated individuals to provide college degree-granting programs inside prisons.
Our staff consists of more than 50% formerly incarcerated men and women. They have dedicated their lives to giving people like themselves a second chance.
Here’s how much it costs to incarcerate versus educate.
What is costs NYS to Incarcerate One Person Per Year
What is costs Hudson Link To Educate One Person Per Year
Here’s the benefits of incarceration versus education.
New York State Recidivism Rate
In New York State, 43% of men and women released from prison will return within 3 years.
Hudson Link Recidivism
Hudson Link’s rate of recidivism is a fraction of the NYS average. Our program saves millions of dollars annually.
Hudson Link on The View
Whoopi Goldberg talks about Hudson Link on The View
“It’s so extraordinary to see and to talk to somebody who says, ‘You would not have wanted to know me when I first got here’ … and that they’re leaving better than they arrived. I think that’s the job of the prison system,” Goldberg explained to co-hosts on the ABC talk show.