On March 11, 2013 the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving announced their awarding of a $5,000 grant to Wesleyan University’s Center for Prison Education. This most generous grant, which was made possible through the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation, will sustain Wesleyan University’s prison education outreach through December 9, 2013.
Wesleyan University’s Center for Prison Education was founded in Connecticut in 2009 and authorized as a two-year pilot program. The program initiated at the women’s York Correctional Institution, and later expanded to the men’s Cheshire Correctional Institution. Both prisons are a part of the Connecticut Department of Corrections. In 2011, the Center for Prison Education was reauthorized to provide services for an additional five years. This was due to the resounding success of the program, both from the incarcerated student’s perspective and that of Wesleyan University’s perspective.
The prison education program at Cheshire Correctional Institution in Connecticut has offered full classes to the male incarcerated students, while it has operated in a more limited capacity at Connecticut’s York Correctional Institution. Due to both program’s tremendous successes, the Center for Prison Education hopes to offer full credit classes to the women at York Correctional Institution by the end of the year. “We were inspired by the women at York,” said Alexis Sturdy, a fellow at the Center for Prison Education. “We wanted to bridge the gap with full classes.”