Little is known about the number of higher education programs operating in prisons or the number of students enrolled in those programs. It’s difficult to find details about the design and description of programs and/or their administrative structures. For practitioners trying to launch, sustain or grow new programs, and for programs trying to increase quality, there are very few opportunities for co-learning and support.
Working with our partners at the Prison Studies Project at Harvard University, the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison at the University of Utah and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, we conduct an annual survey to collect and publish data about U.S. programs offering higher education in prison. The data collected from the Annual Survey of Higher Education in Prison Programs is made public through the National Directory of Higher Education in Prison Programs.
Through the Higher Education in Prison Landscape Project, the Alliance convenes and supports people around the country who are working to expand the field of higher education in prison.
The Higher Education in Prison Landscape Project includes:
The National Directory of Higher Education Programs in Prison began in 2008, when the Prison Studies Project began compiling a list of post-secondary education in prison programs throughout the United States. For 10 years, the National Directory has been a central focus of the Prison Studies Project and an important resource for the higher education in prison community. In 2019, the Prison Studies Project partnered with the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison to expand the reach of a national directory and the support it can offer to higher education in prison programs and staff. The data included in the newly named National Directory of Higher Education in Prison Programs is gathered through the National Survey of Higher Education in Prison Programs.Click here to take the 2021 Annual Survey of Higher Education in Prison programs