Entering the Prison

What can I bring into the prison?

Detailed information about what can and cannot be brought into the prison can be found here. All approved materials that are brought into the prison must be carried in clear plastic bags.

What is the dress code at the prison?

The Department of Corrections maintains strict guidelines on the dress code for all faculty, staff, and visitors affiliated with WashU. These restrictions may be different than the dress codes that you maintain on campus or in other professional areas in your life, so please familiarize yourself with the dress code before entering MECC. The detailed dress code can be found here

Students & Communication

How can I communicate with students outside of class?

To communicate with students outside of class, please fill out a PEP Student Memo and leave it in the January Hall 108 “To Deliver to MECC” mailslot before 11 a.m. if you want next-day delivery. You may also leave the memo in the student’s folder in the study hall filing cabinet at MECC.

How do students at MECC conduct research?

Students at MECC submit research requests for external sources and other scholarly material. These requests are delivered to undergraduate students on the Danforth campus who are enrolled in a semester-long research course that assists with compiling reference materials to respond to MECC student research requests. PEP interns also assist with fulfilling research requests.

Do students at MECC have access to the internet?

No, students at MECC do not have access to the internet. However, they do have access to computers, which they can use to type assignments and prepare PowerPoint presentations.

Class Procedures

How do I get course materials into the prison? 

If you would like to present a PowerPoint in class, please provide it to the DOC at least 10 business days before class. If you would like to present video material, please send an email request using the template found here. The video needs to be approved by the DOC and thus must also be uploaded 10 business days before class. All PowerPoint and video material should be uploaded to the shared Box folder designated for your class. 

In-class handouts are allowed and do not need to be reviewed; however, if you think any of the content may be questionable, please email us at prisonedproject@wustl.edu. Remember, it is better to check and err on the side of caution!

Course readers and course textbooks can also be prepared, ordered, and distributed by us. For more information, click here.

What if I am running late?

We ask that you please try to arrive to MECC early for your class session. However, we understand that emergencies happen. If you are running late, please follow these instructions to call the prison to let them know and ask them to hold your students.

What should I do if I need to cancel class?

There are different procedures for cancelling class the day of, the day before, and a few days before the scheduled class. To learn more about what to do in each of these situations, please click here.

Supplemental Help

Can I have a TA? 

If you would like to have a TA, they will also need to go through the VIC application process. Generally only Washington University graduate students serve as TAs; however, it is possible to request an undergraduate TA depending on the circumstances. Please contact Natasha Narayanan for more information.

Can I hold office hours at MECC?

Because of the commute, most instructors choose not to hold regular office hours at MECC. Instead, they schedule individual consultations or review/help sessions before a specific assignment (research paper or project, etc.) is due. If you would like to hold regular office hours or set up times to meet with your students outside of class, please contact Natasha Narayanan  to coordinate scheduling and room availability.