The Second Chance Pell Pilot Program, a new experimental program, has been created to encourage prisoners to work towards a college degree with federal money while still behind bars.

The Obama administration is testing a new program that will provide a limited number of prisoners with the opportunity to pursue a college degree through federally-financed grants.  

Some Republicans are against the idea, especially since the Obama administration is not waiting around for congressional approval.  

Education Secretary Arne Duncan toldThe Atlantic's Russell Berman this week: 

"Having an inmate receive Pell grants doesn't take a nickel from anybody else...This never pits one group over another, and it's not robbing Peter to pay Paul.  It's just trying to have a few more people have access to what could be a life-chance-forming opportunity."

Currently, there is a ban in place for Pell grants for inmates.  The White House, however, states it has legal authority to create a limited number of experiments towards federal student aid for prisoners.  

The pilot program's name will be "The Second Chance Pell Pilot Program" and aims to reduce recidivism rates among prisoners.  On average, within five years of release, 76.6 percent of prisoners are rearrested.  The White House aims to cut this down through education. 

What do you make of this pilot program?  Sound off below.  

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