YPEI was officially founded at Dwight Hall in 2016 by Yale alumna Zelda Roland (BA '08 PhD '16) and offered its first for-credit courses in the summer of 2018 at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution and Manson Youth Institution. This marked the first time any incarcerated student anywhere had ever enrolled in real Yale College credits.
You can read more about YPEI's beginnings and first offerings at this article in the YaleNews.
But YPEI followed on decades of Yale student and faculty volunteer work to support education access in prison, and to provide resources for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated citizens in our city and state, particularly through Dwight Hall, Yale's Center for Public Service and Social Justice, YPEI's home today.
Scroll below to learn more about the long history of Yale service in criminal justice, prison reform, and abolition.