Giving prisoners a shot at a college education can turn lives around. But they need the government’s help.

As a successful Wall Streeter, I am often credited with being self-made. Each time I hear that I think of all the help I have had along the way. If it wasn’t for a world-class public education at Fort Hunt High School in Alexandria, Virginia and a government-funded Army ROTC scholarship to Princeton University, I am positive I would not have had the success I enjoy today. In short, people and the government invested in me and my success.

That’s why it angers me to see that children born into impoverished neighborhoods have a very different educational pathway — one marked by punishment rather than investment. Poverty and racism funnel them into prisons instead of colleges and the workforce, fueling the “school-to-prison” pipeline. And that pipeline to prison goes only one way. The other end — the “prison-to-school” pipeline — has been sabotaged.

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