In September 2008, Kaia Stern and Bruce Western launched the Prison Studies Project (PSP) at Harvard University to promote informed conversation about the challenges of mass incarceration. Born out of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, our mission is to awaken the broadest possible public to the ways we punish, and to reimagine justice in the United States. Since its inception, PSP has been committed to raising public awareness, teaching college courses inside prison, and injecting into the public conversation a discussion of policy alternatives. Our work has focused on research, education and policy change.
The Prison Studies Project is compiling the first nationwide directory of higher education programs in U.S. prisons. Searchable and continually updated, the directory is an online, state-by-state listing of primarily on-site degree-granting postsecondary education programs in prisons. As a joint initiative with The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, the project works to increase educational opportunities for people who are incarcerated in all 50 states by supporting those who run higher educational programs in prison. When completed, it will serve as a preeminent domain for a national clearinghouse on postsecondary education in prison.