Prisoners' Education

PRP sued the City Department of Correction and the Board of Education in Handberry v. Thompson to enforce laws requiring jails to make school available to incarcerated young people and to provide special education services for those prisoners who require them. When we brought suit, about 40% of the school-eligible young people in the city jails attended school. We won a favorable decision in the lower court, some of which was vacated on appeal and returned to the lower court for reconsideration, which is presently underway. As a practical matter, the case has been of great benefit to young prisoners, since under the lower court’s remedial plan, the City opened a new high school on Rikers Island, and the proportion of school-eligible young people attending school has risen to about 90%.