Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs (D-Manhattan) co-sponsored Assembly Bill A2322 which repeals the ban preventing incarcerated persons from receiving Tuition Assistance Program funding from New York State to pursue higher education. Assemblymember Gibbs served time in prison where he earned a degree from Cayuga Community College.
Assemblymember Gibbs said: “Receiving a college degree in prison was a turning point in my life. It made me realize that a better path was available for me and gave me the knowledge and skills to take that path. The goal of prison should be rehabilitation, and New York State must ensure incarcerated people today have access to financial assistance to pursue a college education like I did.”
Assemblymember Gibbs is working with members of the Democratic conference in both the Assembly and the Senate to ensure $5 million is passed to restore Tuition Assistance Program funding for incarcerated individuals, as was proposed by Governor Hochul in her FY23 executive budget. The 1995 law banning incarcerated New Yorkers from receiving student State financial aid has been devastating to them and the communities they return to upon their release, and our State will lead the way in ensuring higher education access to incarcerated students.
Assemblymember Gibbs is the first formerly incarcerated member of the New York State Legislature and a new member of the Assembly Committee on Correction.