Prison education is currently at the forefront of national conversations about criminal justice reform and access to higher education. Successful university partnerships in prison have proven their transformative value to students, educators, and institutions of higher learning by providing rigorous, high-quality educational opportunity to underserved students of great potential. The Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall seeks to expand upon existing Yale programming in correctional facilities by offering Yale College courses to incarcerated students in Connecticut.
At the Policy Lab, the Prison Education Working Group will work to support the Prison Education Initiative by designing a program evaluation instrument to measure the implementational and functional success of a new in-prison curriculum. This tool will provide scholars, researchers, policymakers, and potential benefactors with qualitative and quantitative assessments of the efficacy both structurally and on an individual scale relative to each individual participant. Through this tool we intend to provide a meaningful resource for the Yale Prison Education Initiative and for future groups who seek to launch similar projects as well as evidence of the efficacy of liberal arts in prisons. To that end, the Prison Education Working Group will collaborate with other leading prison education programs to evaluate their existing data and outcomes, led by a partnership with the Bard Prison Initiative and the Consortium for Liberal Arts in Prison.