an abstract illustration depicts the intersection of people, coronavirus, and prison

COVID-19 Action

COVID-19 has created unprecedented conditions for people who are incarcerated. Since the start of the pandemic, the Alliance has been working to collect and disseminate information and resources from higher education in prison programs that have taken and/or are continuing to take action to support their students and are working to adapt their programming. Our COVID-19 Action page contains materials and resources created by/for or that are meaningful for higher education in prison programs from across the United States.

Related Pages

Public Resources and Information

To share a resource

  • Email:
  • Attach the resource as a .pdf or .doc
  • Provide a 2-3 sentence description of the resource including: person/group/program it was created by; who it was created for; how it was distributed; and any other relevant information

To join a Community Conversation

In an effort to create a space to share information and resources and share experiences and lessons learned, the Alliance will host community conversations. The calls are open to anyone who would like to share how their program is responding and/or learn from others across the country. Community Conversation dates and times will be shared via the Alliance's mailing list/Newsletter (Newsletter Sign-up), social media (@AllianceforHEP) and the Prison_Ed Listserv (Join the Listserv). Notes from each call will be shared here.

Community Conversation Notes

National and Statewide Advocacy Efforts

Crowdsourcing Efforts

COVID-related Guidance

Public Advocacy (downloads below) 

  • Letter to Washington State DOC Secretary Stephen Sinclair (from a coalition of community-based organization, legal service provides and concerned stakeholders)
  • Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prison (IL-CHEP) sent a letter to the Governor, Lt. Governor, all state legislators, all state’s attorneys, and wardens and sheriffs asking for, among other things, review and early release of vulnerable populations in prisons and jails; reduction in jail intakes; and distribution of cleaning materials.
  • IL-CHEP Statement on Advocacy and Mutual Support for Returning Citizens During COVID-19 (Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prison) 
  • COVID-19 Emergency Plan To: Save Thousands Of Lives, Make Prisons Manageable during the Pandemic, Generate Jobs, Minimize Societal Disruption, & Protect Prison Employees and Their Families

Pedagogy, Communication and Student Letters

  • Second Chance Pell: Reshaping Course Delivery in Response to COVID-19 (Vera Institute for Justice and U.S. Department of Education) 
  • Second Chance Pell: Reshaping Course Delivery in Response to COVID-19 - Webinar Recording (Vera Institute for Justice and U.S. Department of Education) 
  • Using Zoom Instructional Delivery for Higher Education in Prison Programs: A Rationale and Proposal (Tennessee Higher Education in Prison Initiative)
  • THEI Letter to Students, Re: Coronavirus
  • NJ-STEP Covid-19 Response Letter (written in collaboration between the NJ-STEP administrative team and the matriculating colleges (RVCC and RU) along with input from NJDOC and instructional partners and posted on a bulletin boards in all NJ-STEP facilities and distributed to students via JPAY)
  • Communicating with Empathy in a Crisis (Becky Brun, Pitchfork Communications)

Health and Wellness Resources for People who are Currently Incarcerated: 


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