The Prison Education Project
expands educational opportunities for inmates in 10 California correctional facilities. With the assistance of 600 university student and faculty volunteers, PEP has serviced approximately 4,000 inmates in these facilities since 2011. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and PEP have embraced a progressive and innovative approach to supplementing and expanding educational opportunities for inmates. By providing academic, life skills, and career development programing, PEP aims to educate, empower, and transform the lives of incarcerated individuals. According to Dr. Renford Reese, founder/director of PEP, the ultimate goal is to create a "Prison-to-School Pipeline" and provide in-custody students with the cognitive tools necessary to function as productive citizens. Our multi-layered approach enhances human development, reduces recidivism, saves resources, and allows participants to ultimately contribute to the economic and civic life of California. The overarching philosophy of PEP is to use the resources in the backyard of each of the state’s prisons to make change e.g. university student and faculty volunteers. There is a college within a 30-mile radius of the majority of the state's 35 prisons. PEP's goal is to collaborate with these colleges to assist the CDCR in its mission of rehabilitation. For every percentage point that we reduce recidivism, we save the state approximately $36.6 million (see calculation). A recent study funded by the U.S. Justice Department found that prison education reduced recidivism by 43%.
Learn more about the Prison Education Project and the people involved in creating a future for inmates.
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See pictures and video of the Prison Education Project, volenteers, and inmates thankful for a chance.