Resource Community Higher Education in Prison

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Rise Up Conference

The Rise Up Conference seeks to liberate higher education during and after prison. It highlights the role of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in birthing this movement, the ways in which these spaces have been occupied by others, the assets we offer to these spaces, and the ways in which allies can help foster liberation. The conference also provides perspectives on higher education during and after prison that are unique to those with lived expertise.

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Rise Up Conference

The Rise Up Conference seeks to liberate higher education during and after prison. It highlights the role of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in birthing this movement, the ways in which these spaces have been occupied by others, the assets we offer to these spaces, and the ways in which allies can help foster liberation. The conference also provides perspectives on higher education during and after prison that are unique to those with lived expertise.

RCHEP Team icon

Rise Up Conference

The Rise Up Conference seeks to liberate higher education during and after prison. It highlights the role of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in birthing this movement, the ways in which these spaces have been occupied by others, the assets we offer to these spaces, and the ways in which allies can help foster liberation. The conference also provides perspectives on higher education during and after prison that are unique to those with lived expertise.

RCHEP Team icon

Rise Up Conference

The Rise Up Conference seeks to liberate higher education during and after prison. It highlights the role of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in birthing this movement, the ways in which these spaces have been occupied by others, the assets we offer to these spaces, and the ways in which allies can help foster liberation. The conference also provides perspectives on higher education during and after prison that are unique to those with lived expertise.

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Beyond Walls: Short Films on Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) Abolition

October 26th from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. via Zoom. The Beyond Walls compilation shares stories of individuals resisting the PIC and demonstrating the importance of relationships inside and out. The films also show the generational harm of the PIC, as well as next steps to build a world without police and prisons. The films add up to be about seventy minutes, intentionally short to leave ample time for panelists and discussion. The panel will consist of previously incarcerated people and people involved in abolition and work to decrease suffering, including exoneree and legal assistant Steven Lazar, reproductive justice organizer Alejandra Pablos, West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute Outreach Coordinator Kenneth Mattews, and multimedia artist and organizer Sylvia Ryerson.

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Harassment, Discouragement, and Intimidation of College Students in Prison: A Qualitative Study on the Prevalence of Disciplinary Power in Prison Higher Education

In this descriptive research study, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, Erin L. Castro, and Estefanie Aguilar Padilla explore the experiences of prison stakeholders in higher education with prison disciplinary power. Based on interviews with nineteen prison education stakeholders, including program directors, instructors, family members of incarcerated students, and program alumni, the authors’ findings indicate that officer-initiated discipline interferes with the aims of college-in-prison programs and incarcerated students’ ability to be successful. The analysis provides rich insight into the ordinary ways prison officers discourage, disrupt, intimidate, and deliberately obstruct student engagement with prison higher education and those programs’ ability to provide coursework.

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Harassment, Discouragement, and Intimidation of College Students in Prison: A Qualitative Study on the Prevalence of Disciplinary Power in Prison Higher Education (BLOG POST)

Blog post about article/study: In this descriptive research study, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, Erin L. Castro, and Estefanie Aguilar Padilla explore the experiences of prison stakeholders in higher education with prison disciplinary power. Based on interviews with nineteen prison education stakeholders, including program directors, instructors, family members of incarcerated students, and program alumni, the authors’ findings indicate that officer-initiated discipline interferes with the aims of college-in-prison programs and incarcerated students’ ability to be successful. The analysis provides rich insight into the ordinary ways prison officers discourage, disrupt, intimidate, and deliberately obstruct student engagement with prison higher education and those programs’ ability to provide coursework.

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Prison Education Program: Completing the Paper 2023-24 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. During this webinar, we will walk through the FAFSA completion process with both financial aid administrators and prison program administrators, highlighting the form's questions that are more complex to address. We will also talk about the methods for processing paper FAFSAs. Both financial aid teams and prison program administrators will join the conversation and welcome your questions.

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That's a Pretty Thing to Call It: Prose and Peotrry by Artists Teaching in Carceral Institutions

The book is a collection of critical prose and poetry by esteemed artists and scholars (including Joshua Bennett, Ellen Bass, Joy Priest, Mahogany Brown, and so many more) about their experiences facilitating arts workshops in prisons. The intended audience includes college (and beyond) students in inside/out-type programs (or other programs where they facilitate educational programming in prisons); teachers of such programs; students and researchers interested in arts in corrections programming; really, anyone involved in higher ed in prison AND/OR arts in prison efforts!

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Technology in Higher Education in Prison Programs: A Report on Survey Findings

In an effort to make visible the national landscape of access to educational technology in prison education programs, Ithaka S+R launched a first-of-its-kind national survey in the fall of 2022, with grant funding support from Ascendium Education Group. The survey asked respondents about student access to technology in their higher education in prison program, collecting demographic information before focusing on four thematic areas: technological devices, learning management systems and software, network connection and internet access, and future technology plans. In the wake of this survey, we also conducted follow-up interviews to gather more qualitative data about major thematic issues that surfaced in the survey analysis. The report presents findings and a discussion that highlights areas where tension is likely to develop in the partnership between correctional and higher education institutions, as well as areas for future research.

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Fresh Start for Incarcerated Borrowers

Federal Student Aid published a new factsheet with instructions on how incarcerated borrowers can get out of default through the Fresh Start initiative. It also briefly addresses other relief options, including contact information for the office that handles complaints - the Office of the Student Loan Ombudsman.

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Education Reduces Crime: Three-State Recidivism Study Executive Summary

The Three-State Recidivism Study reviews one of the major functions of the criminal
justice system, that is, to rehabilitate. Over the past decade, greater emphasis has
been placed on the other major rationales, specifically incarceration and punishment
without much commitment to rehabilitation. The result of the push to incarcerate and
punish that occurred in the 1990s and early 2000s is an unprecedented growth in the
size of the nation’s prison and jail populations, even as crime rates have decreased. Given the
economic hardship of maintaining federal, state, and local correctional systems, and the number of people in jails and prisons, society can no longer afford to ignore ways to reduce crime
and lower over-burdening costs resulting from high incarceration rates. Since there are methods and programs that work, our intent is to bring this information to political leaders, the
media, and the public to shed light on successful alternatives to the current system. This report shares the results of the findings from the Three-State Recidivism Study.

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Inside California’s Prisons and Beyond: A Snapshot of In-Prison and Re-entry Programs

This report provides an introduction to services and programs available within California by collecting descriptive information about each. These programs do not necessarily represent a catalog of best practices or model programs that have been proven to be effective. Rather, this report is a starting block from which to build that analysis, and the authors suggest that as the next important stage in related research.

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Prison Education Program Participation and Recidivism: A Test of the Normalization Hypothesis

Using data for a cohort of Federal prison releasees, the hypothesis tested is that inmates who actively participate in education programs have lower likelihoods of recidivating, defined as a rearrest or parole revocation within 3 years after release, controlling for several background and post-release measures, including post-release employment. Results show that inmates who actively participate in education programs have significantly lower likelihoods of recidivating.

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Prison Education Program Participation and Recidivism: A Test of the Normalization Hypothesis

Using data for a cohort of Federal prison releasees, the hypothesis tested is that inmates who actively participate in education programs have lower likelihoods of recidivating, defined as a rearrest or parole revocation within 3 years after release, controlling for several background and post-release measures, including post-release employment. Results show that inmates who actively participate in education programs have significantly lower likelihoods of recidivating.

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Prison Education Program Participation and Recidivism: A Test of the Normalization Hypothesis

Using data for a cohort of Federal prison releasees, the hypothesis tested is that inmates who actively participate in education programs have lower likelihoods of recidivating, defined as a rearrest or parole revocation within 3 years after release, controlling for several background and post-release measures, including post-release employment. Results show that inmates who actively participate in education programs have significantly lower likelihoods of recidivating.

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Best Practices for Evaluating Prison Higher Education

This study is a longitudinal, mixed-methodological effort to document the effects of participation in the college program at San Quentin State Prison. The college program is administered
by a non-profit called the Prison University Project and has served thousands of
incarcerated individuals since its founding.

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EJP Campus Scan

The campus scan is an examination of the policies and practices of campus units with which formerly incarcerated individuals are likely to have contact. This document seeks to better understand the obstacles and challenges formerly incarcerated people (FIP) may have in navigating campus, and where on campus they are likely to encounter resources, support, and points of encouragement.