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Webinar Workshop: Completing the Paper 24/25 FAFSA with Students Who Are Incarcerated

On January 31 from 2:00 - 3:15 ET, NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) will host a free and publicly available webinar. See below for a description and links to register.

 

Workshop: Completing the Paper 24/25 FAFSA with Students Who Are Incarcerated

Financial Aid advising is an essential component of Prison Education Programs (PEPs). Many PEPs rely on the paper FAFSA when serving students who are incarcerated. We expect many new Prison Education Programs (PEPs) will enroll their first students in the Fall of 2024.  The challenge of introducing PEP work at the same time as FAFSA Simplification implementation crescendos will create a challenge for financial aid staff as well as PEP administrators. During this workshop, we will walk through the FAFSA completion process, highlighting the most complex form and verification questions. We will also talk about the methods for processing those paper FAFSAs. Both financial aid teams and prison program administrators will join the conversation and welcome your questions.

The direct link for participants to register for the Completing the Paper 2024-25 FAFSA with Students Who Are Incarcerated Workshop is: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/4463509/F1C5A03976B02902CA10C4A17A7FBAA1.

Individuals may also register from the NASFAA website as well: https://www.nasfaa.org/paper_fafsa_students_incarcerated_jan24

 

This work is generously funded by a grant from Ascendium Education Group.

Victoria Scott

Employing Experiential Experts

I came across this post in some research that I performed for one of my work groups for justice-impacted professional training design and my heart was warmed by the progressive step that Washington State Department of Corrections is taking to improve their system by hiring a formerly incarcerated person for a salaried administrative position.

It was nearly a year ago today that this job post was circulated and in honor of this momentous anniversary, I thought it would be befitting for my first ever RCHEP post to celebrate and share this immense victory as proof of what is possible. For me, this advertisement is evidence that we, as a collective community, are moving mountains.

State Softball with Harper

2 Youth Fellow Positions at AIR Now Open for Applications!

Join AIR as a Youth Reentry Technical Assistance Fellow with our Youth, Family, and Community Development program to foster equitable pathways for young people, families, and communities to thrive.

 

The Youth Reentry Technical Assistance (YRTA) Fellowship Program is a three-year training and technical assistance-oriented fellowship dedicated to integrating lived experience into work with state and community-based organizations, aiming to provide equitable and meaningful youth reentry programming. As part of the YRTAC team, Fellows will receive comprehensive training and professional development to enhance their existing skills and experience, positioning them to offer ongoing expertise in the justice system. The YRTA Fellowship Program is designed for individuals who have been impacted by the juvenile justice system, particularly those with lived experience.  The 2024 YRTAC Fellowship Program will engage two fellows from February 2024 through September 2026. This is a paid fellowship, and health benefits are included. Fellows are expected to work 30 hours a week (75% work schedule). 

 

Fellows will work directly for the Youth Reentry Technical Assistance Center housed at AIR, which serves as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) training and technical assistance provider supporting OJJDP Second Chance Act Youth Reentry grantees. The Youth Reentry Technical Assistance Center serves over 50 Youth Reentry grantees from across the country through learning events, relationship-centered coaching, and evidence-informed resources.  This grant provides funding to support states, units of local government, Tribal entities, and community-based organizations in developing programs that offer comprehensive reentry services for moderate- to high-risk youth before, during, and after release from confinement. The grant aims to support transitional services that assist youth in successful reintegration into the community and deliver relevant training to key stakeholders positioned to impact the youth's reentry process.

Full posting here! Careers |American Institutes for Research| Youth Reentry Technical Assistance Fellow in Remote | Careers at Youth, Family & Community Development (icims.com)

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Published in Open Campus!!

Check out my article published by Open Campus!! It was an honor to share a look at the transformative experience I was blessed to have teaching as a Visiting Instructor at Colby College.

"Incarcerated people are rarely hired for outside jobs. A teaching gig changed my life."  https://www.opencampusmedia.org/2024/01/03/incarcerated-people-are-rarely-hired-for-outside-jobs-a-teaching-gig-changed-my-life/

 

Please also see "Colorado becomes one of the first to employ an incarcerated professor" by Jason Gonzales and Charlotte West to see the incredible work going on out there! - https://www.opencampusmedia.org/2024/01/04/colorado-becomes-one-of-the-first-to-employ-an-incarcerated-professor/

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#DefundthePrisons - Toolkit

The Incarceration Nations Network (INN) developed this toolkit to push for long-term systemic change that moves spending away from futile punishment and devastating harm and toward community justice. This toolkit describes what this effort looks like in the context of the United States. 

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Do's and Dont's of Virtual Education in Prison

Produced by Incarceration Nations Network (INN) and its global justice partners, this document examines how virtual education is implemented behind bars, what it looks like around the world, the benefits and concerns of virtual education, and some do's and don't that allow education in prisons to continue. 

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Do's and Dont's of Virtual Education in Prison

Produced by Incarceration Nations Network (INN) and its global justice partners, this document examines how virtual education is implemented behind bars, what it looks like around the world, the benefits and concerns of virtual education, and some do's and don't that allow education in prisons to continue. 

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The 2023-2024 Bard Prison Initative (BPI) Global Initiatives Virtual Lecture Series

The Bard Prison Initiative, in partnership with Incarceration Nations Network, is pleased to invite you to the 2023-2024 BPI Global Initiatives Virtual Lecture Series.

This lecture series is designed to foster connectivity and conversation for an international community of practitioners in different higher education contexts in prisons and carceral spaces around the world. In monthly virtual sessions, practitioners from across BPI’s Global Community of Practice will introduce us to their unique local experiences building educational opportunities for incarcerated people. The sessions will be an hour long.

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The 2023-2024 Bard Prison Initative (BPI) Global Initiatives Virtual Lecture Series

The Bard Prison Initiative, in partnership with Incarceration Nations Network, is pleased to invite you to the 2023-2024 BPI Global Initiatives Virtual Lecture Series.

This lecture series is designed to foster connectivity and conversation for an international community of practitioners in different higher education contexts in prisons and carceral spaces around the world. In monthly virtual sessions, practitioners from across BPI’s Global Community of Practice will introduce us to their unique local experiences building educational opportunities for incarcerated people. The sessions will be an hour long.

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2024 HEP Conferences

Happy New Year everyone!

Welcome back to the Higher Education in Prison Technical Assistance Intermediaries Group. We’re excited to continue deepening partnerships and growing our collective knowledge to share with you all. We’re currently reviewing conference schedules for 2024 and it got us thinking. Which Higher Education in Prison conferences are you all planning on attending in the new year?

Would love to try to come to at least one and meet some of you face-to-face! :) 

Please drop them in the comments and/or follow along to see what others are sharing!  

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Share your insight on a new justice-impacted leadership development program!

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey! We reached our limit for responses, so the survey is now closed. Stay tuned for more information about this new leadership development program coming next year!

 

Formerly Incarcerated Leadership Development Survey from Rockwood Leadership Institute.

 

In partnership with Ascendium Education Group, Rockwood Leadership Institute is developing and piloting a new leadership development fellowship for formerly incarcerated leaders in HEP. This fellowship will use an ecosystem approach to deepen the pipeline of formerly incarcerated leaders across the field by increasing leadership capacities, strengthening relationships within and across HEP, and creating fertile ground for leaders at all levels to engage in powerfully collaborative and interconnected ways. The fellowship will be a year-long, multi-retreat experience, and will include a combination of leadership retreats, peer and professional coaching, and support between and after sessions. 
 

Your feedback in this survey will help us ensure that our programming is meeting the needs of this community. For more information, you can email me at andrea@rockwoodleadership.org. 

 

Applications for the new fellowship will open in Spring/Summer 2024.

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Reach out about HEP Employment Opportunities!

Hey Everyone!

My name is Leo Hylton and I'm an Alliance Fellow with the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is being able to post job opportunities for people on the Alliance's Job Board. 

If you haven't seen it, check it out here: https://www.higheredinprison.org/job-board

Please reach out if you know of any HEP employment opportunities, especially those that welcome formerly incarcerated people, either here or by email: leo@higheredinprison.org

I love keeping the Job Board updated with fresh opportunities!

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Share Your Experience Hiring Staff with Lived Experience

Our team in JFF's Center for Justice & Economic Advancement is reaching out to ask our partners in the field for support in compiling critical information on hiring practices, and specifically on whether your program or higher education institution has been successful in hiring previously incarcerated or currently incarcerated individuals. 

By way of this short survey, we are hoping to learn which higher education partners in the field have engaged in hiring people with lived experience, which/how many of these hires were alumni of HEP programs, and what roles they were hired for and/or promoted into during their time at that institution.  

Even at institutions where no such hiring has taken place yet, we strongly encourage folks to take a moment to submit the survey, as we are also hoping to better understand and catalogue the specific barriers that might be getting in the way of hiring people with lived experience. 

We know that folks working in this field are already overtaxed. THANK YOU for any time you can give to helping us to gather this preliminary data, which will inform the development of new resources for the field. For questions or additional information, please email slibby@jff.org

Dario_Peña

Justice Through Code application open for three career accelerators!

Justice Through Code is recruiting for three career accelerators: The Foundation, Tech Pathways, and The Flagship, set to start early next year, offering professional development and technical skills to prepare adult learners for entry-level positions as software engineers. See the one-pagers attached with this message to learn more about these programs and scan the QR code to apply!

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Sign up to get College Inside!

Open Campus, a nonprofit newsroom focused on higher education, produces College Inside, a newsletter focused on the future of postsecondary education in prison. We publish a biweekly email and a monthly print PDF edition for inside distribution. You can get the email version in your inbox here (check your spam for a confirmation email if you don't see it right away), and you can sign up incarcerated friends and family members for an individual print subscription here at no cost. We also publish the PDFs on our website. If you are a prison educator or librarian, please reach out to talk about how you can share the newsletter with your students or patrons. 

College Inside will also soon be available on the Edovo app (on GTL and Securus tablets in some locations) as well as APDS (Orijin as of today). Incarcerated people will not be charged to access College Inside content. 

We are also working on a series of guides for incarcerated students focused on topics related to higher education, such as this FAQ on Pell Grants based on common questions we received from inside readers. We also collaborate with incarcerated writers and artists to publish first-person essays about prison education. 

State Softball with Harper

Highlighting this great resource from JFF!

Framing the Opportunity: Eight State Policy Recommendations that Support Postsecondary Credential Completion for Underserved Populations released by Jobs for the Future. 

Authors:

Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Director

Michael Collins, Vice President

To reestablish the US’s place among nations with high postsecondary completion rates—a distinction it’s lost in recent years—states are actively working toward the day when 60 percent of Americans hold postsecondary degrees or credentials.

State Softball with Harper

Highlighting this great resource from JFF!

Framing the Opportunity: Eight State Policy Recommendations that Support Postsecondary Credential Completion for Underserved Populations released by Jobs for the Future. 

Authors:

Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Director

Michael Collins, Vice President

To reestablish the US’s place among nations with high postsecondary completion rates—a distinction it’s lost in recent years—states are actively working toward the day when 60 percent of Americans hold postsecondary degrees or credentials.

State Softball with Harper

Highlighting this great resource from JFF!

Framing the Opportunity: Eight State Policy Recommendations that Support Postsecondary Credential Completion for Underserved Populations released by Jobs for the Future. 

Authors:

Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Director

Michael Collins, Vice President

To reestablish the US’s place among nations with high postsecondary completion rates—a distinction it’s lost in recent years—states are actively working toward the day when 60 percent of Americans hold postsecondary degrees or credentials.

State Softball with Harper

Highlighting this great resource from JFF!

Framing the Opportunity: Eight State Policy Recommendations that Support Postsecondary Credential Completion for Underserved Populations released by Jobs for the Future. 

Authors:

Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Director

Michael Collins, Vice President

To reestablish the US’s place among nations with high postsecondary completion rates—a distinction it’s lost in recent years—states are actively working toward the day when 60 percent of Americans hold postsecondary degrees or credentials.

State Softball with Harper

Highlighting this great resource from JFF!

Framing the Opportunity: Eight State Policy Recommendations that Support Postsecondary Credential Completion for Underserved Populations released by Jobs for the Future. 

Authors:

Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, Director

Michael Collins, Vice President

To reestablish the US’s place among nations with high postsecondary completion rates—a distinction it’s lost in recent years—states are actively working toward the day when 60 percent of Americans hold postsecondary degrees or credentials.

State Softball with Harper

The Power of Policy Fellowships in Achieving Systemic Change

Trellis Foundation blog post suggested by Keisha Johnson on the Whova conference app.

The Power of Policy Fellowships in Achieving Systemic Change 

Introduction: At Trellis Foundation, supporting public policy change is crucial to our mission of helping low-income students and students of color succeed in postsecondary education. That’s why our funding strategy includes breaking down the systemic barriers faced by students from communities facing historic and persistent barriers to higher education. One way we do this is by supporting policy fellowships that allow students to be directly involved in developing and advocating for policies that can make a real difference.

State Softball with Harper

Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition

This study helps to explain how the use of the criminal history box on college applications and the supplemental requirements and procedures that follow create barriers to higher education for otherwise qualified applicants. In this study, which focuses on the State University of New York (SUNY), we found that almost two out of every three applicants who disclosed a felony conviction were denied access to higher education, not because of a purposeful denial of their application but because they were driven out of the application process.

State Softball with Harper

Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition

This study helps to explain how the use of the criminal history box on college applications and the supplemental requirements and procedures that follow create barriers to higher education for otherwise qualified applicants. In this study, which focuses on the State University of New York (SUNY), we found that almost two out of every three applicants who disclosed a felony conviction were denied access to higher education, not because of a purposeful denial of their application but because they were driven out of the application process.

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And Still We Are Not Free: The School-Prison Nexus in Higher Education

This report from the Community College Journal of Research and Practice summarizes results from a critical mixed methods case study of a mid-sized urban community college district. The case study uses publicly available data to compare these colleges’ explicit commitment to access and opportunity with their investments in surveillance, security, and enclosure. The authors argue that a school-prison nexus, or SPN (similar to what many refer to as the school-to-prison pipeline), is enacted well beyond PK-12 schools in and through higher education.

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Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – New York

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – New York

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – Ohio

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – Ohio

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – Tennessee

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – Tennessee

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – Texas

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Beyond the Ban: A Toolkit for Advancing College Opportunity for Justice-Impacted Students – Texas

Led by the inaugural cohort of the Justice Fellows Policy Program, The Education Trust, in partnership with local higher education and justice advocates, analyzed state support for currently and formerly incarcerated students in eight states — California, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas, and developed state-specific toolkits to help advocates and policymakers tear down the remaining barriers for justice-impacted students.

RCHEP Team icon

Supporting Second Chances: Education and Employment Strategies for People Returning from Correctional Facilities

This brief is part of a series that highlights key issues and best practices discussed at Bridging the Gap: Postsecondary Pathways for Underprepared Learners. Other topics include: support services to help underprepared students balance school and daily life and engaging employers to help build effective pathways to work.