What We Do
EJP is a comprehensive college-in-prison program based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We engage in programming in three distinct areas.
First, we offer upper-division University of Illinois courses and extracurricular activities at Danville Correctional Center, a medium-security men’s prison about 45 miles from the Urbana-Champaign campus. The learning community that EJP instructors and students continually recreate at the prison is at the core of everything else that EJP does, and drives our other activities.
EJP alumni encouraged us to form what has become the Reentry Guide Initiative. Through RGI, we produce two reentry guides each year and distribute them to incarcerated individuals, family members, and service agencies across the state and beyond.
Finally, we host programs on campus to meet some of the needs that we have become aware of through our work. For instance, in recognition of the deleterious impacts of incarceration on family members, we started a scholarship program. To support progressive policy-making around criminal justice, we host events on campus and the community to educate the public and elected officials.
EJP is based at a top research university, in its highly-ranked College of Education. Because we take scholarship seriously, EJP runs a research group, produces resources for other higher education in prison programs, and supports EJP members in producing critical scholarship about prison education, as well as creative works.
We are committed to building an open, safe, gentle, inclusive learning environment within EJP. We believe that a rigorous and critical education program requires the cultivation of such an environment and that self-reflection is an important part of creating and sustaining such an environment. Our Diversity and Inclusion Commitment guides our activities in this regard.