YPEI collaborates regularly with a range of departments, programs, and centers at Yale and with institutions, organizations and colleagues beyond the campus boundaries, including:
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN
In April 2021,] YPEI and the University of New Haven announced a flagship collaboration to create a degree-granting program for students incarcerated in Connecticut, and to create pathways for students who have been released to continue their educational pursuits. Read more at press releases from Yale and UNH.
CONSORTIUM FOR THE LIBERAL ARTS IN PRISON
YPEI has been a proud member of the Bard Prison Initiative's national Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prisons since 2017. Through the Consortium, BPI collaborates with colleges and universities to catalyze, launch, and sustain college-in-prison programs across the country. Together these leading institutions are challenging expectations of inclusive excellence while redefining the boundaries of success for people in and returning home from prison.
YALE SCHOOL OF ART / ART AND SOCIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE
As an integral component within the Art and Social Justice Initiative, Yale School of Art first partnered with the Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall in 2018 to create a summer art program for incarcerated students at the Manson Youth Institution in Cheshire, CT, with credited Yale courses and extra-curricular workshops led by recent MFA graduates. In 2019, YSoA continued the partnership by offering "Visual Thinking" to incarcerated students at MacDougall-Walker CI, a high/maximum security prison in Suffield, CT.
YALE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Yale University Library began its collaboration with YPEI in summer 2020, when Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Curators of the Yale Collection of American Literature Melissa Barton and Nancy Kuhl curated a packet of archival materials and writing prompts for the Creative Writing Workshop. A poem by YPEI student Justin, written in response to the Beinecke packet, was featured as a part of the Beinecke’s Creativity in 2020 series. Later in the year, the Yale University Library began a larger partnership with YPEI, working to make on-campus library resources available to incarcerated YPEI students. Emily Horning (Director of Undergraduate Research) and Kelly Blanchat (Undergraduate Teaching and Outreach Librarian) advise the Research Request Network, which allows YPEI students to access library resources remotely.
YALE UNDERGRADUATE PRISON PROJECT (YUPP)
Founded in 2009, YUPP began as a criminal justice reading group for Yale students to educate themselves about the system of mass incarceration and to increase dialogue around the topic on campus. Shortly after the reading group was started, Yale students decided that they wanted to do more than just read about the issues: they wanted to be a part of the solution. In 2010, YUPP began providing incarcerated young men at Manson Youth Institution with greater access to educational programming including GED tutoring, post-GED reading groups, and mentoring programs. Over the past several years, Yale Undergraduate Prison Project has expanded to encompass prison activism, advocacy, and reform efforts as a Dwight Hall member group.
YUPP supports the development of a formal prison education program at Yale through its work with the Yale Prison Education Initiative.
FREEDOM READS (FKA MILLION BOOK PROJECT)
By seeding 1,000 Freedom Libraries inside prisons across the country, Freedom Reads offers a rhetorical and functional response to the indignity accompanying each moment spent in a cell. The book is a powerful symbol of freedom and a bookshelf, within reach before you sleep at night or when you awake, lets you determine where your imagination goes. Beginning in the COVID-19 Pandemic, Freedom Reads provides YPEI with books to distribute to enrolled YPEI students and beyond.