UCLA Education

The program’s credit-bearing courses served 25 incarcerated students (13 at CIW, 12 at BJN), 22 UCLA students, and involved 12 UCLA faculty. The program is planned to expand to offer more courses per year and enroll 15 incarcerated and 15 UCLA students per course for a total of 180 students (ages 16-65) annually. Classes held in Chino and Sylmar, CA serve students from throughout the LA metropolitan area and beyond.

Changing the Narrative

Two credit-bearing courses titled “Narratives of Change” (CIW) and “Narratives of Justice” (BJN) were piloted in 2016-2017. In addition to these critical thinking, writing, and performance courses, three non-credit programs provide: 1) a faculty lecture series based on participant interests including philosophy, urban planning, and molecular science, 2) an International Human Rights Law Clinic where six law students and 10 incarcerated students assess resources and services available upon re-entry and 3) a creative writing workshop. ​

Reduce Incarceration and Recidivism

As California voters demand strategies to end mass incarceration and recidivism (such as Proposition 47, Proposition 57 and Senate Bill 260), UCLA has an extraordinary opportunity to implement transformative programs linking university students and faculty with incarcerated students at several Southern California correctional facilities.

Justice Studies Certificate

UCLA courses at correctional facilities inspired the development of the “Justice Studies Certificate” (for incarcerated students), which we hope to grow into a  “Justice Studies Minor” (for matriculated students). These credentials require the rigorous interdisciplinary examination of justice through theory and practice and students earning the Justice Studies minor or certificate emerge with critical local and global perspectives on justice. Following California’s Proposition 57, completion of this certificate provides incarcerated students the opportunity to reduce sentences up to six months, return home more prepared to succeed, allow incarcerated youth to transfer to reduced security environments with more access to educational opportunities and reentry resources and creates a pipeline to UCLA.

“The mission of the UCLA Prison Education Program is to make postsecondary education accessible to women and young people who are currently incarcerated, and to bring UCLA faculty and students to learn alongside them, thereby challenging bias, discrimination, and injustice in a shared and collaborative learning experience.”

We thank the following organization for the generous support of our efforts: