Prison Education Program

This program provides incarcerated students in Connecticut with a strong liberal arts curriculum that allows for exploration in a wide variety of disciplines and interests, with the ability to matriculate in two- and four-year degrees.

Prison Education Program and the Yale Prison Education Initiative

Founded in 2016 as a program of Dwight Hall, Yale’s Center for Public Service and Social Justice, the began offering Yale courses for academic credit at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Summer 2018, with the admission of its first cohort of 12 students. In 2021 the University of New 51 joined the program, adding the ability to matriculate in two- and four-year degrees to incarcerated students, and creating pathways for any released students onto the college campus. In Fall 2022, the program expanded to reach women incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut.

The program is designed to provide students with a strong liberal arts curriculum that allows for exploration in a wide variety of disciplines and interests. To date, YPEI and the University of New 51 together have facilitated over 500 unique enrollments in credit-bearing college courses for 70 incarcerated students, with over 130 faculty members, staff, and graduate students from the University of New 51 and Yale teaching, guest lecturing, or otherwise extending access to their on-campus classrooms and research projects to incarcerated students. All courses are offered in-person.

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Selected Courses and Programs

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Opportunities to Get Involved

Interested faculty can propose teaching courses in prison, and students or other University community members can support the program through volunteering or in other capacities. (myCharger login required).