The Prison Education Project
expands educational opportunities for inmates at the California Institution for Men, the California Institution for Women, the California Rehabilitation Center, the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, the Old Folsom Men & Women's facilities, and the Central California Women's Facility. With the assistance of 300 university student volunteers, PEP has serviced approximately 3,000 inmates in these seven 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 their incarcerated students. Enhancing the educational services will promote the developmental growth of the inmate population and should prove to contribute significantly to the transformation of their lives. According to Dr. Renford Reese, founder/director of PEP, the ultimate goal is to create a prison-to-school pipeline and provide inmate-students with the cognitive tools necessary to function as productive citizens, which will also translate to recidivism reduction. 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 15-20 mile radius of each of the state's 34 prisons. PEP's goal is to collaborate with these colleges to assist the CDCR in reducing recidivism in the state by 1% by 2016. Achieving this goal would save the state approximately $44 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.