Higher Education in Prison

Higher education in prison (HEP) is critical for the dignity and well-being of incarcerated individuals. BPI’s former Staff Counsel, Marsheda Ewulomi, and former Polikoff-Gautreaux Fellow and Staff Counsel, Ashton Hoselton, created the policy report, Higher Education in Prison: Understanding its Power and Fulfilling its Promise in Illinois, to stimulate conversations regarding the benefits of HEP.

Despite the many benefits of higher education in prison, there are significant gaps in Illinois’ system for providing this support to incarcerated individuals. HEP programming is available to less than 3% of individuals incarcerated in Illinois prisons. The gap is particularly acute in central and Southern Illinois.

Recent federal and state actions provide an opportunity to chart a course for expanding access to HEP in Illinois so that every interested person can receive HEP programming.

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