The Washington University Prison Education Project (PEP) cultivates a rigorous college-in-prison environment that encourages and supports life-long curiosity, dialogue, and collaboration. By offering courses, degrees, and other opportunities for intellectual engagement in the liberal arts, PEP strives to  nurture thinkers and social change agents who positively impact their communities, families, and each other. 

PEP  is committed to excellence in teaching and scholarship in prison and to fostering the academic, personal, and professional development of the students it serves.  PEP embodies the transformative power of a liberal arts education that is both accessible and equitable, and offers a community to those impacted by incarceration that is positive, productive, and reveals the innate value and potential of each student. 

The mission of PEP is to: 

  • Develop students’  critical thinking, oral and written expression, quantitative analysis, and  interdisciplinary understanding.
  • Provide skills that prepare students for  future careers  and for lives of exploration, discovery, and learning.
  • Empower students to be more empathetic  and engaged  leaders in both their local and global communities. 
  • Offer unique reentry solutions to students and alumni post-incarceration to provide support as they pursue their academic endeavors and chosen career paths.

“I hope that one day we can fall back on what we know and what we have learned and use it to go above and beyond the ordinary and be expected to make a difference in the world.”

Jimar, PEP alumnus (Convocation 2018)