Center for Prison Education
  • Center for Prison Education
  • Center for Prison Education
  • Center for Prison Education
  • Center for Prison Education
  • Center for Prison Education
  • Center for Prison Education
  • Center for Prison Education

Get Involved

For Faculty

The Center for Prison Education welcomes course proposals from faculty who are interested in teaching in prison.  To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Dara Young (  Deadline for course proposals is TBD.  A proposal need include no more than a brief course description.  Please submit proposals to

  • FAQ for Faculty
    • 1) How does the Center support Wesleyan faculty who teach in prison?

      Each professor teaching in prison receives a $5000 stipend per semester.  Courses taught in prison are supplemental to a professor's ordinary course load.  Access to teaching assistants and the support of our full-time program coordinator is also provided.

      2) How are incarcerated students selected to participate in the Center?

      Applications consisting of an analytical essay and a personal statement are reviewed by our advisory committee.  In 2009, fifty applicants were offered interviews on the basis of their applications, and nineteen participants were selected for the final cohort.  Each admitted student participates in two courses per semester.

      3) How are students graded?

      Incarcerated students receive A-F letter grades.  It is the fundamental contention of the Center that the same standards of academic rigor that adhere on the main campus can be upheld in a class taught in prison.  This means that expectations and evaluation should be identical.  The continuation of the program beyond the two-year pilot phase will depend upon the demonstrated ability of incarcerated students to perform at this level.

      4) How do students conduct research in prison?

      Although the internet is not available in prison, students have access to a computer lab within the facility, where ITS has installed a stand-alone JSTOR index, as well as a database containing the Wesleyan library catalogue.  The program coordinator, TA's and writing tutors also assist in conveying materials in and out of the facility on a daily basis, responding to the needs of specific courses and the research interests of students.

      5) What sorts of classes is the program looking for?

      Our only goal is to offer a well-rounded curriculum aimed at introducing first-year students to the widest possible range of disciplines and methodologies in the liberal arts.

For Students

Wesleyan students can become involved with the Center in a number of ways:

  • By volunteering at York Prison for women.  In pairs of two, volunteers visit the prison facility on a weekly basis, facilitating informal academic workshops on subjects of their interest. Contact Margo Tercek (
  • By enrolling in the Prison Education Student Forum, facilitated by Paul Silverman and Haley Perkins in Fall 2012.  Contact Paul and Haley ( and
  • By volunteering as a Writing Tutor for the courses offered at Cheshire Prison or as a policy or administrative CPE Intern. Contact Maddie Neufeld (

Support Us

The CPE is supported exclusively by grants and individual donations.  Your support is critical to the longevity of our program.  Please consider donating to help us a build a computer lab for our students at Cheshire Prison, provide this year's books and supplies to our students, or sponsor a course.  Contact us directly if you are interested in hosting an event to allow your friends and family to learn more about the CPE.  We thank you for your support!