Tag Archives: college in prison

Apply to be a Center for Prison Education Tutor

Check out the following tutoring opportunity from the Center for Prison Education!

The Center for Prison Education is now accepting applications for tutors for the 2018-2019 academic year. Tutors travel with CPE staff to Cheshire or York Correctional Institution for one three-hour study hall session each week for an entire semester, working individually with students on coursework in a wide range of disciplines. More information is available on the application form. Applications are due by Saturday, April 28th.

Stipends are available for work study students. Please contact cpefellow[at]wesleyan[dot]edu with any questions.

The Center for Prison Education is Seeking Tutors

The Center for Prison Education, Wesleyan’s college-in-prison program, is looking for tutors, including math tutors, who can assist with high school level material to work in the prisons with our incarcerated students. In addition, we are looking for those who can work on campus, helping to find research materials for our students, among other tasks. If you’re interested in volunteering this semester or would like more information, please e-mail Coady Johnson ’15 at cpefellow[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.

Also, check out this short documentary about the program, directed by Cara Tratner ’12 and Becky Gillig ’12.

WeSFER Panel Discussion: Education and Incarceration

Sarah Kalish ’14 writes in:

Passionate about education and social justice? Leaders of the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education and education advocates will be discussing the intersections of the education and prison systems, including the school- to- prison pipeline and the importance of offering a liberal arts education in prison.

Date: Today, May 2
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Place: PAC 001
Cost: Free

Russell Perkins ’09 Named a Rhodes Scholar

Congratulations to Russell Perkins ’09, who was awarded a 2010 Rhodes Scholarship. Perkins was the co-founder of the Center for Prison Education at the Cheshire Correctional Institution, and graduated with high honors from the College of Letters.  His senior thesis was “Violence in Adornian Aesthetics and the Art of Anselm Kiefer.”  Perkins is pursuing a B.Phil in philosophy at Oxford.

Wes in the News: Perkins ’09 Awarded 2010 Rhodes Scholarship

NY Times Reports on College in Prison

The New York Times’ City Room blog published an article about Wesleyan’s College in Prison Program, where Charles Lemert and Beth Richards teach sociology and English.  The admission to the program is competitive, but open to all inmates despite their sentences.  The article talked to some of the incarcerated students about why they joined the program:

But many of them speak with pure clarity about the reasons they were drawn to school again: idle curiosity, intellectual interest, a longing to be part of the big conversations of the day, and a desire for self-respect.

“It’s rejuvenating,” said Antonio Rivera, 23, who likes to read history and is less than halfway through a 12-year sentence for drug dealing.

Clyde Meikle, 38, of Hartford is serving a 50-year sentence for fatally shooting a man with whom he tussled over a parking spot. Ten years ago, he earned his high school diploma in prison. He likes to set a positive example for what he calls “the younger cats.”

“For me, it was a self-esteem thing,” he said.

college in prison

The article also mentions on the uncertain future of the program, as people argue whether it is a good use of University funds:

Two students, Russell Perkins and Molly Birnbaum, who had volunteered in prisons as students, revived the idea last year when they were seniors and figured out a way to finance it.

They obtained nearly $300,000 from the Bard Prison Initiative, a program that already pays to offer Bard College courses in a handful of New York prisons. That should fully pay for Wesleyan’s program for two years and provide partial financing for two more years.

[…] University administrators say they will raise additional money to finance the program privately so as not to siphon money from Wesleyan’s core mission. That was among the concerns raised by the faculty when it gathered to vote on the proposal last spring.

The vote was first scheduled to be taken on May 6, but it was postponed when a Wesleyan junior, Johanna Justin-Jinich, was murdered that day at the bookstore, turning a tranquil campus into a raucous crime scene. The faculty endorsed the plan two weeks later by a show of hands, with some dissent.

Thanks to Joey from the shoutbox for the tip!

New York Times: College Ivy Sprouts at a Connecticut Prison

Panel Discussion: Education in Spaces of Incarceration

Franni Paley ’10 writes:

Attend the Education in Spaces of Incarceration panel discussion! This will be a discussion on the role of arts and education programs within the prison system with a pizza dinner to follow.

This panel will be an opportunity to learn about the kinds of education- and arts-based work people are doing in the prison system, locally and nationally. The panelists will speak about the work they do and consider questions like: what kind of partnerships between people in prison and those on the outside can form through this work? What are current trends around education in spaces of imprisonment? What are the possibilities and limitations of prison education as a means to structural change within the prison system?

sponsored by RISE (Resisting Imprisonment for a Safer Existence), Wesleyan Center for Prison Education, and the Center for African American Studies

WHAT: Panel discussion and pizza dinner
WHEN: Thursday, October 29, 2009 from 8:00pm – 10:00pm
WHERE: Center for African American Studies (343 High Street)

Facebook event here

Prisoner Solidarity Project Meeting

The Prisoner Solidarity Project would like to invite all students to discuss a proposal for establishing a Wesleyan College-in-Prison program tomorrow (Thursday, Feb 5) in the Usdan Multi-Purpose Dungeon at 12p.m. The discussion will revolve around the logistics of the initiative, how we as a campus can become more involved, and whatever questions and concerns y’all may have.

Date: Thursday, February 5
Time: 12 pm
Place: Usdan MPR

College in Prison at Wesleyan

Aviva Tevah ’09 and Martha Tenney ’09 write in to tell us:

Please attend this symposium to learn about and discuss the future of a Wesleyan College in Prison program, which would offer incarcerated individuals the opportunity to achieve higher education.

The symposium will include a keynote address by Daniel Karpowitz, Assistant Professor of Political Studies at Bard and Academic Director of the Bard Prison Initiative and a panel discussion featuring Director and Founder of the Bard Prison Initiative Max Kenner, Boston University Prison Education Director Robert Cadigan and Wesleyan Professor of Theatre Ron Jenkins.

Where: Memorial Chapel
When: Monday, January 26th @ 8:00 pm

Reception in Zelnick Pavilion to follow.