PEP Celebrates First Graduates from WERDCC

The end of the Fall 2023 semester marked a significant milestone for PEP’s campus at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia, MO – the program’s first graduates! Five PEP students – Sandra Dallas, Theresa Fortner, Teri Morrison, Patty Prewitt, and Riana Sanders – earned their associate in arts degrees, becoming the […]

Preparing for Pell: PEP Director Presents at CEA International Conference

In late August of 2023, WashU PEP Director Kevin Windhauser presented on navigating the restoration of Pell Grants for incarcerated students at the Correctional Education Association‘s annual conference and training event alongside representatives from the Vera Institute of Justice, Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison (GCHEP), and Mississippi Department of Corrections. Since the 1994 […]

PEP Hosts 2023 Maggie Garb Memorial Lecture

On March 27th, PEP was proud to host the 2023 Maggie Garb Memorial Lecture, “Working at the Intersection of Art, Activism, and Anti-Carcerality,” a discussion featuring playwright, trauma-informed journalist, and activist Sarah Shourd alongside Shubra Ohri, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center. The discussion was moderated by PEP Director Kevin Windhauser. The wide-ranging discussion […]

PEP Expands Financial Literacy Workshops

Thanks to the generous support of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis in 2022, the Prison Education Project completed a series of reentry workshops on a variety of topics, from technology and digital literacy to health literacy. In 2023, PEP has been able to expand the reach of these workshops by partnering with Criminal Justice […]

2022 Year-End Roundup

PEP has had a big year in 2022!! From the launch of our second degree program at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia, MO to our celebration of 18 new PEP graduates at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, it’s been a full and exciting year. Here are some of our most […]

Higher Education as Reentry: PEP Hosts Panel at Missouri Reentry Conference

On November 3rd, as a part of the Missouri Reentry Conference, Washington University’s Prison Education Project co-hosted a panel on higher education as a form of reentry programming with St. Louis University’s Prison Education Program. The conversation featured Kevin Windhauser, WashU PEP’s Program Director, Jim Brock, WashU PEP’s Alumni Coordinator, Julie O’Heir, SLU PEP’s Program […]

PEP Attends and Presents at 2022 STEM-OPS Annual Convening

In late October, the Washington University in St. Louis Prison Education Project team attended the first STEM-OPS Annual Convening, a conference for stakeholders dedicated to expanding access to STEM education and careers for people impacted by incarceration. STEM-OPS, or STEM Opportunities in Prison Settings, is an alliance of partnered organizations guided by the vision that […]

PEP Completes Technology and Digital Literacy workshop series

Thanks to the generous support of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, the Prison Education Project was recently able to complete our Technology and Digital Literacy workshop series! Workshops are led by Reentry Coordinator Dr. Jami Ake and made possible through significant support by Alumni Education Coordinator Sam Densing. On Saturday, October 15th, PEP will […]

Justice for All: PEP and Gephardt Institute Host Voting Rights Restoration Panel

On Monday, September 26th, the Prison Education Project hosted a panel discussion on the status of voting rights for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in Missouri as a part of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement’s Civic Action Week. The conversation featured Jameel Spann, Violence Intervention Specialist at the Freedom Community Center and […]

PEP Student Patty Prewitt Interviewed by PEN America

This week, PEN America posted an interview with current PEP student Patty Prewitt to their website. A non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of free expression through programming in creative writing, PEN America has a longstanding engagement with incarcerated writers through the Prison Writing Program. The interview is an illuminating read for those curious about […]

PEP Alum Larry Marshall Publishes Essay in San Francisco Bay View

Prison Education Project alumnus and 2022 graduation speaker Larry Marshall has recently published an essay, “Black August: The marathon continues!” in San Francisco Bay View. Larry’s essay reflects on the tradition of Black August, a “quintessential commitment to self-discovery, self-education and the education of others.” In particular, Larry focuses on the importance of education in […]

PEP and Pulitzer Center Host “Inside/Outside: From Solitary Confinement to Re-Entry” Webinar

On May 25th, 2022, the Prison Education Project, in partnership with The Pulitzer Center, hosted “Inside/Outside: From Solitary Confinement to Re-Entry,” a community conversation focused on issues surrounding solitary confinement, sentencing reform, and re-entry in Missouri and nationwide. The conversation featured Brandon Tauszik, a photographer and filmmaker based in California who co-created the Pulitzer Center-supported […]

Ronelle Williams named Graduate Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity

Ronelle Williams, a Prison Education Project tutor and teaching assistant, has been named on of five 2022-2023 Graduate Fellows at the Washington University Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity. Currently completing a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy, Ronelle’s work focuses on “how oversimplifying Black women’s high obesity rates impacts the erasure of […]

Dr. Lauren Miller speaks at 2022 That’s What She Said event

Dr. Lauren Miller, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Saint Louis University and longstanding Prison Education Project faculty member, spoke at the 2022 That’s What She Said event. Dr. Miller’s moving talk provides a glimpse into her work with the Prison Education Project and reflects on the power of higher education in prison. One of PEP’s […]

PEP and Prison Performing Arts Present “The Taming of the Shrew(s)” at WERDCC

Eight PEP Students Among Stars of Inaugural PEP-PPA Co-Production On Wednesday, June 29th and Thursday, June 30th, eight Washington University Prison Education Project students performed in the The Taming of the Shrew(s), the first-ever co-production between PEP and St. Louis-based Prison Performing Arts. An original adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, the […]

PEP Awarded NEA Big Read Grant for 2022-2023

June 23, 2022—St. Louis, MO—The Washington University Prison Education Project is one of 62 organizations nationwide selected to receive a 2022-2023 NEA Big Read grant. A grant of $12,700 will support a community reading program focusing on Circe by Madeline Miller from September 2022 – February 2023. An initiative of the National Endowment for the […]

Prison Education Project Students Featured in Chronicle of Higher Education Article

Last month, three Prison Education Project students were interviewed about ongoing efforts to increase the quality of educational technology in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Amy Walker and Jasmine Ford, two current students in the program at WERDCC in Vandalia, MO and Sam (Sherri) Densing, recently released from WERDCC and now working with the Prison […]

Prison Education Project Celebrates Second Graduation at MECC

On May 25th, 2022 the Prison Education Project was proud to celebrate its second ever graduation ceremony at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. PEP awarded 18 degrees to MECC students. PEP’s graduation ceremony was featured in the June 8, 2022 edition of The Source, including a video featuring remarks from Chancellor Andrew D. Martin, guest […]

PEP Student Publishes Play

PATRICIA PREWITT, a Prison Education Project student who is currently enrolled in college courses at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center (WERDCC) in Vandalia, Missouri, has had a one-act play titled Clarity published in The Massachusetts Review. This story is not fiction. Prisoners are hidden in the shadows. I feel fortunate to be […]

PEP Awarded Grant from Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis

The Prison Education Project Reentry Program has received a $32,000 grant from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis to support justice-involved individuals and their families. To ensure the full impact of its educational offerings, the Prison Education Project (PEP) provides free education-centered reentry planning and support for currently incarcerated and recently released students. With support from the […]

Job Announcement: PEP Intern

PEP interns work under the supervision of the PEP Program Coordinator and the PEP Director. PEP interns are responsible for a variety of job duties within the Prison Education Project, including but not limited to: Office/administrative tasks (printing, scanning, copying, filing, etc.) Organizing and updating student and program information and records Responding to student requests […]

What does “Higher Education” mean to me?

By Patrick Clarkson   I am crying and I don’t know why. Time is not promised, yet it is given so freely. I am nearing the end of an 11 year commitment of incarceration and I am having a difficult time coping with the blatant fact that the people tasked with administering & monitoring my […]

Meet the PEP Interns: Thu-Lan Unsoeld & Talia Weine

The Prison Education Project (PEP) relies on the time, energy, and efforts of so many passionate people on WashU’s campus, including its incredible interns! PEP currently has two interns: Thu-Lan Unsoeld, a senior majoring in Sociology and minoring in Design and American Culture Studies, and Talia Weine, a senior majoring in Religious Studies and minoring […]

St. Louis Reentry Resource Guide

The Washington University in St. Louis Prison Education Project, in collaboration with the newly formed STL Reentry Collective, is excited to announce the release of a comprehensive new resource guide for formerly incarcerated people returning to St. Louis. Initially a project of the Prison Education Project Alumni Program, the guide will be continuously updated and […]