Prison Literacy: Literacy Behind & Beyond The Walls

Best Practices & Resources
Success Stories

The COABE Literacy Behind & Beyond the Walls Committee

The COABE Literacy Behind & Beyond the Walls Committee launched in March 2019 was created to support and advocate on behalf educators and adult learners navigating educational advancement behind and beyond the walls of prisons and communities throughout the country. COABE recognize the harsh reality that there are numerous barriers and challenges facing the men and women who travel through our criminal justice system, and yet it is education, literacy and skill development which frequently holds the key to the revolving doors of our prison system. Recent studies support the importance of education and training in our prison systems and the fact that with just one educational class in prison, an individual can reduce his/her chance of recidivism by 43%.

The Literacy Behind & Beyond the Walls Committee brings together the best and brightest educators, administrators, and leaders in the criminal justice education sector from around the country in order to share their expertise and passion for educating the men and women inside of our prisons and as they transition home to begin their pathway to success. COABE’s Literacy Behind & Beyond the Walls Committee invites you join us as we proudly support adult learners, educators and administrators who work to make change happen.

Reentry Literacy Hackathon

Postponed until March 19, 2021

Primary Presenter: Jeff Abramowitz, JEVS Human Services

COABE is proud to announce that prior to the COABE National Conference in Baltimore, MD, the Literacy Behind & Beyond the Walls Committee will be hosting the very first Reentry Literacy Hackathon. This innovative and interactive preconference event will be held Friday March 19th.

The Reentry Literacy Hackathon will take 4-5 vetted adult literacy programs, projects, or applications, and will engage COABE participants from across the country in the development and prelaunch of each program, all in one day. COABE participants with an expertise in adult literacy behind our prison walls and working with men and women upon their release, will be tasked with creating and generating a finished product for use by those working to educate and assist men and women returning home from incarceration.

If you are interested in participating in this exciting project please email

We are interested in hearing success stories from your program. Please complete the form below to share.

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