Higher Learning Inside

Higher Learning Inside

The Demographic Make-up of Incarcerated Persons Taking Postsecondary Courses in California


Researchers from UC Davis and UC Berkeley matched statewide data from the California Community Colleges and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide a detailed analysis of the demographics of students taking college courses while incarcerated. They also provide details on the types of courses incarcerated students take, their course loads and course performance during a four-year period prior to the pandemic.

Download the brief here.

Encouragingly, the number of colleges offering courses and the number of students enrolling has increased significantly over time, and those who do enroll are achieving success that exceeds that of students in campus settings. 

Yet, participation is not representative among different racial and age groups. Under-representation of Black and Latinx incarcerated students merits attention and action. 

We’re pleased to share this analysis by Tolani Britton, Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley; Elizabeth Friedmann, a research fellow at Wheelhouse and the California Education Lab, UC Davis; and Sara Adan, a graduate student in the UC Davis School of Education. Download the brief here.

View other Wheelhouse research here. 

Log in