The University of Puget Sound announced Friday that its board of trustees accredited a bachelor’s diploma program for incarcerated girls inside the Washington Corrections Center for Women in partnership with Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS). The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has offered Puget Sound a $1 million furnish to guide the development of the diploma software. FEPPS gives a rigorous permitted college program and creates pathways to academic opportunities after women are launched from jail.
Women are the fastest-growing section of the U.S. Incarcerated population; nation jail populations for girls have grown at extra than two times the price for guys over the past 40 years. Women of color are disproportionately represented. Many girls in jail have had minimum get admission to to schooling and are available from impoverished backgrounds. Once released, girls have frequently accrued vast debt, deliver the stigma of incarceration, and are barred from many employment possibilities. Seven out of 10 ladies will go back to prison, and education is the unmarried most vital issue in breaking the cycle of incarceration.
“Freedom Education Project Puget Sound is considered one of our signature packages, and we are thrilled in order to more fully invest in this software that leverages each our role as a highbrow asset in our community and as an agent of social change,” stated Isaiah Crawford, president of University of Puget Sound.
FEPPS became founded in 2011 by way of Puget Sound college contributors Tanya Erzen, accomplice studies professor of nonsecular research and gender and queer studies; Stuart Smithers, professor, and chair of religious studies; and Robin Jacobson, professor, and chair of politics and government, operating in collaboration with women inside the jail. In January 2012, the primary FEPPS class changed into supplied in the prison.
Currently, this system awards an Associate of Arts degree accredited through Tacoma Community College to students who successfully complete their coursework. Through the bachelor’s degree software, FEPPS students will have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts diploma in liberal studies from the University of Puget Sound. The college plans to admit a cohort of 10 to fifteen college students to this system each to a few years.
“This is an awesome possibility for the FEPPS college students. Many of them have completed their associate levels whilst in prison and continue to take lessons just because they don’t want to prevent learning,” said Erzen. She has been instrumental in FEPPS’s rise because it has become a nationally identified model for university packages serving incarcerated ladies. “The bachelor’s diploma program will enable FEPPS college students to take the subsequent step of their educational adventure and build new lives for themselves and their families.”
This software extends the University of Puget Sound’s deep engagement and partnership with FEPPS. Over the past six years, 35 school contributors have taught or lectured within the software, and nearly one hundred undergraduate college students have volunteered as co-rookies in observe halls at the prison as a part of an experiential getting to know course provided with the aid of Puget Sound. The university also supports FEPPS students with getting admission to to analyze possibilities and materials and offers a category to tutors on running with college students inside the prison.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has been an established, beneficiant supporter of Puget Sound, investment a high-impact internship software; the Latina/o Studies Program; new initiatives within the Humanities and Honors programs; programs that join college students’ instructional and co-curricular studies through residential seminars; and junior faculty sabbaticals.