A work-learning initiative of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison
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The Alliance for Higher Education in Prison is committed to ensuring that individuals experiencing incarceration have access to quality education, seeking to create equitable professional-educational opportunities for incarcerated people. To bridge the divide between the acquisition of knowledge and its practical application, the Alliance is launching the Education in Action (EiA) initiative. This initiative focuses on the development of a sustainable infrastructure capable of supporting the implementation of high-impact learning practices during incarceration.
Education in Action seeks to cultivate an environment that transcends punitive frameworks and advances a culture of lifelong learning, personal growth, and holistic professional evolution through the strategic implementation of apprenticeships, internships, fellowships, and other work-learning opportunities. The Alliance’s vision of EiA promotes an informed, forward-thinking network that wholly embraces the value of high-impact work-learning; this redefined perspective on labor within the carceral system endeavors to challenge persisting prejudices against, and stigmatization of, incarcerated people.
Methods & Impact
Work-learning employment periods typically range from one semester to one year, depending on the needs of the employer, work-learner, and the nature of the work. Participating employers may offer positions to do administrative work, research, graphic and web design, data collection/analysis, policy consulting, curriculum development, writing, content creation, and beyond. Interns will be HEP program students, former students, and graduates seeking professional development in a variety of fields.
Work learning opportunities may vary in several ways:
Duration (6 months - 2 years)
Education in Action is an essential step towards building a movement that shifts beliefs and narratives about the value of incarcerated people’s work and challenges the slavery-based model of prison employment. The continued pursuit of our mission and vision underscores the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison's unwavering commitment to shaping an intellectual landscape that recognizes inherent human potential for advancement and growth within the confines of prisons. As conduits for hope, resilience, and opportunity, we are adamant that internships and fellowships possess a transformative power that can engender lasting societal change and disrupt the perpetuation of cycles of criminalization and incarceration.
For people experiencing incarceration, Education in Action is a pathway to:
Developing a work-based set of skills while growing professionally;
Creating part-time/full-time job opportunities during incarceration, increasing the chances of job placement and meaningful employment post-incarceration, at or above the living wage;
Learning financial literacy skills;
Contributing to families and communities through financial support, ability to pay fines, fees or restitution, and taxes.
Providing employers access to a source of previously under-utilized talent pools.