Tufts Prison Initiative of Tisch College
SECOND STRETCH -- Doubling Our Goal!
THANK YOU all who have donated to our efforts to provide higher education to people incarcerated in Massachusetts! Our students at MCI-Concord have been wholly inspired by your generosity, and we are overwhelmed by it as well. Thank you for giving and becoming part of OUR FIRST DONOR GROUP!
With 31 days left, we are now STRETCHING OUR GOAL a second time to $20,000, doubling the original goal. With $20,000, you will have covered the cost of materials for an entire year of classes including additional summer intensives! That brings our 25 students 1/3 of the way to an associate's degree in the liberal arts! As a reminder, 75% of people who release from prison return to prison shortly thereafter, but a college degree brings the return to prison rate down to between 2% and 0%. YOUR GIFT MAKES A PROVEN DIFFERENCE. Thank you, and feel free to reach out if you are interested in further involvement through mentoring visits.
Our students at MCI Concord were shocked and full of gratitude for those of you who donated to help us meet our $10,000 goal after only 9 days!
“Knowing there are people like you on the outside right now who are supporting us in our efforts to learn and grow through the Tufts-Bunker Hill Community College Program gives us a sense of hope and a new sense of possibility for our futures.”
- 25-student college cohort at MCI-Concord
AND THERE IS STILL MORE TO DO! MORE MONEY TO RAISE!
With 37 days left of our fundraising campaign, rather than end our efforts to raise still-needed funds to support these students, we are now stretching our goal in order to be able to provide a SUMMER INTENSIVE SESSION FOR AN EXTRA $4,000. Please help us to raise this additional amount of money that will help students maintain their momentum in this college program during the season when prison can be the most challenging due to the heat and a lack of programming. Donations toward our new stretch goal of $4,000 will enable us to offer summer intensives in math, U.S. civil rights literature, and Latin American art history.
The Tufts University Prison Initiative is truly grateful for your generosity, partnership, and sense of urgency about the importance of supporting transformative and credentialing educational opportunities for people serving time. Having you as our first donor base is extremely significant, and we will continue to communicate with you about the progress of our students and program through an annual newsletter. Thank you for getting in on the ground floor and for helping to make the College in Prison Program through Tufts and Bunker Hill Community College possible!
The Tufts University Prison Initiative of the Tisch College of Civic Life (TUPIT) has begun a college in prison program, and we need your help making this a sustainable program.
Your donation helps us to provide incarcerated people in Massachusetts with transformative educational experiences and a college degree while they are serving time. Please help support these students as they prepare themselves for a more successful re-entry into society!
“I am not just a different man as a result of my Tufts classes, but my entire life has been redirected and placed upon a new path.”
-TUPIT Student, Chris
Acting on our foundational belief in the necessity of equitable access to higher education, TUPIT has established a partnership with the MA Department of Correction that enables us to offer college courses to incarcerated individuals for academic credit. Tufts professors teach these courses in the liberal arts at the medium-security prison in Concord, Massachusetts. A growing partnership with Bunker Hill Community College offers those people admitted to our joint college in prison program the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in the liberal arts after 3 ½ years of successful coursework in prison. Your donation will help people release from prison with a college degree.
Our 23 TUPIT faculty members constitute a learning community unique to Tufts, one that includes individuals from different schools of the university. The following are among the courses offered toward this degree: Introduction to Philosophy; International Law and Civil Society; Religion, Race, and American Nationalism; Poetry; Nutrition Science; History of African American Music, Introduction to Genetics, The Bible as Literature; Health and Human Rights; and a capstone course. Please donate today and support our students who need the books and materials to succeed in these exciting classes.
Why College in Prison
75% of people in the US who release from prison go back within the first five years of their release. Receiving any formal education while serving a sentence reduces the rate at which people return to prison 43% (RAND 2013). A college credential, however, brings this number down to between 2% and 0%. Helping those who re-enter society to stay out of prison is critical, and it is far from the only benefit of college in prison! PLEASE help us to continue offering collective, self-reflective, and transformational experiences for all involved.
The 25 men who currently make up our student cohort were admitted through a selective process run by TUPIT faculty and staff. These excellent students are now mid-way through their first semester, taking English 1 and Math 10, the foundational writing and quantitative reasoning courses. After this semester, students will take three courses each semester and one course every summer for three years, graduating in May 2022. But we badly need your help TODAY to keep this program going!
How You Can Support Our Students
Your donation will go towards direct resources for the students. For example, $25 covers the cost of pens and pencils for a semester; $100 covers all books and materials for one class for one student; and $1820 covers one year of classes for one student on the way to earning a college degree.
The many faculty, staff, and students of Tufts University who have organized this initiative remain dedicated to providing transformative educational experiences that foster both our students’ and our faculty members’ capacities to become active citizens of change in the world.
“Through watching these men take their classes, I’ve learned more than I could learn from any peer in school. I’ve seen them work as hard as they possibly can and never give up. I’ve learned lessons of empathy and humanization. I’ve seen the unique and intelligent interpretations of readings that could only result from their life experiences and level of intellectuality. Their constant smiles and laughter show the positivity that this education has brought into their lives and the tangibility that it brings to their aspirations.”
-Claudia (Medford-based Tufts student working with incarcerated student cohort at MCI-Concord)
We are deeply grateful for your participation in this project!
All photography courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Correction.