Recommended Reading

Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow
Jamie Bissonette: When The Prisoners Ran Walpole
Angela Davis: Are Prisons Obsolete? and Abolition Democracy
Ruthie Gilmore: Golden Gulag
Khalil Gibran Muhammad: The Condemnation of Blackness
Joy James (ed.): The New Abolitionists
Beth Richie: Arrested Justice
Eric Stanley and Nat Smith: Captive Genders
Julia Sudbury (ed.): Global Lockdown

Art and Education in Prison Programs

These are just a few other projects in prison in the nation:

Education Justice Project
Prison Creative Arts Project
Alabama Prison Arts and Education Program
Bard Prison Initiative
Bedford Hills College Program
Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison
Prison University Project at San Quentin
UNC Friday Center
Black Prisoners Caucus T.E.A.C.H.

Analysis, reform and abolition

Project NIA
Critical Resistance
The Prison Policy Initiative
Open Society Foundation
Tamms Year Ten
John Howard Associaion
The Illinois Institute for Community Law & Affairs
Transform Chicago
Stateville Speaks
Holler to the Hood
Justice Mapping Center
Justice Policy Institute
Million Dollar Blocks
Open Society Foundations
The Real Cost of Prisons Project
Carceral Geographies
Love and Protect
Lifted Voices
Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration
Liberation Library
Assata’s Daughters
I Am Kid Culture This organization was started by Patrick Pursley while he was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated at Stateville.  

Support for formerly incarcerated people returning to school

In the spring of 2016, PNAP intern Pedro Nungaray (Justice Studies, Northeastern Illinois University) researched student groups at colleges and universities that support formerly incarcerated students, as well as area schools that use 'the box' in college applications. Below are his findings:

Student and Faculty groups who support formerly incarcerated students:

1.New York University: Incarceration to Education Coalition (IEC) is composed NYU members (faculty, students, staff) working on campaign to “Abolish the Box”, end negative stigmas attached to the impacted people.

2.University of Wyoming: Pathways from Prison is comprised of formerly incarcerated students and allies which is aimed at helping formerly incarcerated people navigate the challenges of higher education.

3. Rutgers University: MountainView Project Student Organization supports the Mountainview Program who recruits and supporst formerly incarcerated students at Rutgers.  

4. Princeton: Student for Prison and Education Reform is comprised of four committees that look at different aspects of mass incarceration.

5.Northeastern Illinois University: Formerly Incarcerated and Standing Together is a student group that serves as a resource for formerly incarcerated students and allies.

6.Governors State University: Generating Hope Support Network is sponsored by the GSU Social Work Department and is designed to provide support, mentoring, networking, information and resource linkage for the formerly incarcerated, their families and friends.

7.Columbia University: Beyond the Bars Initiative is a group of students and community members who seek to further educate people on of mass incarceration and collaborate with social justice activists and academics.

8.University of California Berkeley: Underground Scholars Initiative aims to connect formerly incarcerated UC Berkeley students with the resources and information that will help to increase those students’ prospects of success.  

9. Return Student Support Group is a Chicago area organization that provides support and mentoring to formerly incarcerated men and women who would like to earn a college degree.


Area Colleges that use 'the box' in applications

‘The box’ refers to the question on many applications such as college applications that asks applicants if they have criminal records. There is anecdotal evidence that ‘the box’ has negative effects on prospective students While involvement in the criminal legal system may not be cause for rejection by admissions offices, ‘the box’ is cause for attrition. A 2015 study by the New York based Center for Community Alternatives shows that the use of ‘the box’ in college applications shapes college demographics. Local and national campaigns have been launched to 'ban the box' on applications. Some local Chicago colleges and universities that use ‘the box’ on college applications are:

As of 2017, The IL State Legislature has introduced a Criminal History in College Applications Act. The bill “provides that a public college may not inquire about or consider an applicant's criminal history information at any time during the admission decision-making process, except as required by State or federal law.” Stay updated on this bill.

University of Chicago

University of Chicago at Illinois

Governor State University

Northwestern University

Loyola University

DePaul University

Columbia College

School of Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago State