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The field of higher education in prison consists of a diverse community of people who come to this work for many different reasons. In particular, we believe that the knowledge and contributions from currently and formerly incarcerated people is critical for the field of higher education in prison.
College in prison programs can foster the opportunity to build solidarity around the shared goal of dismantling the prison industrial complex through providing access to higher education.
“Education was literally this rehabilitative thing for me and has helped propel me to where I am today.”
Assistant Professor, Howard University School of Medicine
“We have people who want to learn and who are eager to improve their lives and yet the narrative is that they are not deserving of that.”
Doctoral Student, University of Texas Austin
“Colleges and universities must recognize incarcerated people as potential college students who are fully capable and worthy of their investment.”
Assistant Professor of Higher Education, University of Utah
“Teachers who teach inside prison talk about what it’s like to teach someone who understands that the right to learn is not actually a right.”
Advisory Board Chair, Alliance for Higher Education in Prison
“You have never seen real joy on a woman’s face until you saw her walk across a podium with her kids in the audience knowing that she achieved something while incarcerated that she may not have even imagined for herself when she was out.”
Doctoral Student, New York University
“What we are trying to do is build community inside of a system that is intentionally structured to divide people from each other.”
Executive Director, Tennessee Higher Education Initiative
“It was in solitary confinement that I was exposed to the power of education and how it can serve as a tool for transformation.”
Research and Program Analyst, The Opportunity Institute
“I would hope that we can come together collectively, not just as formerly incarcerated people and progressive people, but as everyone in society.”
Global Ambassador for Education, John Jay College
“I really view higher ed in prison as this opportunity to make right our wrongs as a community where we failed, we get this second chance to succeed.”
Senior Program Officer, Ascendium Education Group