Our core program provides access to postsecondary distance education. These courses are generally paper-based, which students can complete independently without any type of institutional support.
We are expanding our core program to include cached, “online” courses in partnership with the University of Washington; an onsite coding program, in partnership with Code Fellows; and access to secure, digital tablets that inmates can use in their living units to complete coursework.
The goal is to help inmates pursue postsecondary degrees, and gain skills valued in the labor market. With a degree and marketable skills, the individual, upon release, will be less likely to return to prison because he or she will possess valuable credentials and have more opportunities for success.
While we understand that our scholars may be more motivated to change their lives and avoid crime than the average prisoner, we still believe in the power of education to reduce recidivism. The positive effect of education on recidivism has been backed by several academic studies, and is demonstrated in our scholars’ low recidivism rate.
Students apply for funding by submitting an application for scholarship support.
Oftentimes, students need guidance when beginning their educational journey. PSF staff and volunteers assist our Prison Scholars as they choose an academic program, help them explore an area of focus, and understand degree requirements. The PSF is especially helpful when it comes to working with state departments of corrections, as every state is different, which presents unique challenges and opportunities.”
Some colleges/universities that provide paper-based courses that inmates can work with:
We are working with the University of Washington to open access to its Integrated Social Sciences online degree program for inmates across the nation, starting here in Washington.
Synthesizing information from different disciplines, collaborating across cultures and communicating effectively – these are all crucial skills in our fast-changing, globalized world. And they’re among the skills students build as they complete their degree in the Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences program at the University of Washington.
Studies show that earning a college degree is one of the best ways to ensure long-term career growth and success, as well as increase personal fulfillment. In the Integrated Social Sciences degree program, students have the chance to explore connections across a range of topics in the social sciences while tailoring their education to personal strengths and interests.
In its 2015 rankings, U.S. News & World Report rated the University of Washington 16th among national public universities in the United States. And in a recent global evaluation, the UW placed 6th in the world in the social sciences based on the overall impact of faculty research. The ISS program also costs less than many other social science degree programs.
Students learn full-stack development in partnership with Code Fellows. Programming experts lead classes at the institution where students learn front-end web and mobile development. At Code Fellows, students will benefit from diverse training methods that include tech talks, pair programming, lectures, and solo project work with extensive access to instructors and teaching assistants.