Sex Offenders May Lose Pell Grant Eligibility Under Revised Higher Education Act
Published 04 August 08 04:49 PM Student Loan Girl
Starting July 1, 2009, sex offenders confined in treatment centers throughout the country may no longer be eligible to receive need-based federal Pell Grants, under a new provision of the reauthorized Higher Education Act, according to an article in the Associated Press (“Congress Cuts Off College Aid For Sex Offenders,” Aug. 4, 2008).
President Bush has yet to sign the act into law, but after the act passed through Congress July 31, Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., said, “Today, the most insane wasteful spending program in America comes to an end.”
Keller cited an AP article from March that revealed dozens of rapists and child molesters had taken higher education classes at taxpayers’ expense while confined to treatment centers after serving their prison sentences.
Some prisoners were using the financial aid to buy clothes, DVD players, and music CDs even after they had dropped their classes in some cases.
While the U.S. Department of Education does not know exactly how many sex offenders receive Pell Grants, spokeswoman Stephanie Babyak predicted that making sex offenders ineligible for the aid would save taxpayers millions.
Critics say the new measure may rule out a higher education for sex offenders who are trying to rehabilitate themselves. Instead of cutting off grant aid to all sex offenders, Congress should better regulate how it administers the program in order to help prevent abuses, said Michael Macleod-Ball, chief legislative and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
The grant aid provision would affect the 20 states that allow violent sex offenders — those who it is believed would likely repeat their crimes if they were to be released — to be held indefinitely in treatment facilities after they have served their prison sentences. Prison inmates have been ineligible for Pell Grants since 1994, but sexual offenders can qualify for the grants once they are transferred from prison to treatment centers.
Yeah, like these crazy violent sex offenders are gonna use thier "education" to get them a good job after they get out of the nut house. I don't know of any "good jobs" that are going to hire a felon who has been in the nut house, do you?
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