Center for Prison Education Spring 2018 Textbook Drive


The Wesleyan Center for Prison Education just launched their textbook drive

The books on the list feature titles such as Flush, The Qur’an: A Biography, and Existensialism is a Humanism, and range in price from $6.55 to $28.64. 

Here is a brief history of the Center for Prison Education:

In the fall of 2009, the Center enrolled an inaugural class of 19 men at Cheshire Correctional Institution, a maximum-security facility. Another 54 men have since been admitted and an additional 50 engaged in college prep workshops. In the spring of 2013, the Center expanded to York C.I., the only state women’s facility in Connecticut, admitting an inaugural cohort of 19 women. Students are admitted after a rigorous admissions process. Over 90 women applied to be in the inaugural class at York, while nearly 300 men have applied over the past five years.

Over the past eight academic years, the Center has offered nearly 80 classes in subjects ranging from sociology to biology, political theory to calculus. Courses are taught at all levels of instruction. When teaching through the Center, professors change neither the content of their courses nor their expectations of students. More than 100 Wesleyan undergraduates have volunteered with the Center, collaborating closely with incarcerated students as tutors, teaching assistants and peers.

In 2016 the Center launched an innovative public-private partnership with Middlesex Community College and student can now earn an Associate degree in recognition of their work.

According to the CPE, participating in post-secondary education makes incarcerated individuals 46% less likely to reoffend, while graduating reduces recidivism by an astounding 72%. Despite those incredible promising numbers, the State of Connecticut provides no funding for post-secondary education in prisons. The Center for Prison Education fills a large gap in educational services. To make the program accessible to some of the least-resourced members of our society, CPE provides all classroom materials to incarcerated students for free.

You can provide books directly for incarcerated students through the Amazon Wish List.

The books will support students enrolling in some of the following classes:

At Cheshire:

  • Thinking Animals— Professor Kari Weil (Wesleyan)
  • Special Topics Environmental Science — Professor Suzanne O’Connell (Wesleyan)
  • Sociology of Knowledge— Professor Tony Hatch (Wesleyan)
  • Greek Drama: Passions & Politics on the Athenian & Modern Stage – Professor Eirene Visvardi (Wesleyan)
  • Intro to Macroeconomics— Professor Tad Lincoln (Middlesex Community College)
  • Intro to Computers— Professor Ellen Kramer (Middlesex Community College)

At York:

  • Literature & Composition— Professor Riana Cornelia (Middlesex Community College)
  • Islam and Modern Cultures—  Professor Peter Gottschalk (Wesleyan)
  • Philosophy Special Topics: Political Philosophy— Professor Justin Good (Middlesex Community College)