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 Yale Prison Education Initiative (YPEI) 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 Haven 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 Haven 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 Haven 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.