Technical Assistance

The Prison University Project supports the expansion of thoughtfully designed, and effectively-implemented, higher education programs as a way to foster opportunities for incarcerated people in prisons across the country. Our Technical Assistance program aims to develop a skilled, knowledgeable, and professional community of prison higher education practitioners by offering resources and services that any college, university, or prison can access to improve their higher education program; and by establishing widely accepted standards of practice for the field of prison higher education.


Technical Assistance


Interest in prison higher education is expanding all across the country. The US Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Pilot Program currently has 67 colleges and universities nationwide slated to receive Pell grant funding for incarcerated students enrolled in in-prison programs, on an experimental basis. In California, the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 1391 in 2014 generated new interest in prison education among the state’s community colleges, by allowing them to receive apportionment funding for incarcerated students, just as they do for students enrolled in classes on their outside campuses.

The expansion of higher education in prison will mean promising new opportunities for incarcerated people, if new programs are thoughtfully designed and effectively implemented. New prison programs will need guidance and support in order to respond to the particular needs of incarcerated students, and the significant challenges presented by the prison environment.


The Prison University Project is now building on the first stages of its technical assistance work to support the further development of prison higher education into a stronger and more robust professional field. Our goal is to support the creation of a skilled, knowledgeable and professional community of practitioners by providing resources and services that any college, university or prison can access to improve their higher education program. We are also committed to helping to establish widely accepted standards of practice for the field of prison higher education.

We conduct trainings and workshops for new and developing prison programs around California, addressing topics such as the California prison system—rules, regulations, structure and culture; prison education program models, culture, values and approaches; classroom pedagogy and innovative approaches; student support, especially for students with learning differences; college preparatory programming; and many other subjects.

We also host “customized” trainings, workshops and meetings to address the individual program needs. We are currently working to create a comprehensive toolkit containing resources and materials on all the subject areas described above as part of our trainings that will be available to practitioners state-and nationwide.


Antelope Vally College, California State Prison in Lancaster

Bakersfield College, SATF Corcoran

Cal State East Bay

Castro Valley Unified School District

Center for Engagement, Service, & the Public Good - Cal State LA

Cerro Coso Community College, California City Correctional Facility

Chaffey Community College, California Institution for Women, California Institution for Men

College of the Canyons, Los Angeles County Jail

College of the Redwoods, Pelican Bay State Prison

College of the Sequoias

Columbia College, Sierra Conservation Center

Cuesta College, CMC Prison

Exchange for Change

Five Keys Charter School, County Jail 5, San Francisco

Flinders Law School, Australia

Folsom Lake College, Folsom Women's Facility at Folsom State Prison

Franciscan School of Theology

Hartnell College, Salinas Valley State Prison

Insight Garden Program

Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UC Santa Barbara

Jackson College, Michigan

John Jay Prisoner Reentry Institute

Lafayette Academy

Lassen Community College, High Desert State Prison


Office of the Inspector General

Otterbein University Prison Program

Plattsburgh State University

Prison Teaching Initiative, Princeton University

Project ALOFA

Project Rebound

Project Rebound SDSU

Project Rebound, SFSU

Renewing Communities Initiative at The Opportunity Institute

Research Foundation, SUNY Systems and Administration


San Diego State University

San Francisco State University

San Joaquin Delta College


San Jose State University

Sarah Webster Fabio Center for Social Justice

SLCC Prison Ed Program

Southwestern College, RJD Correctional Facility


Taft College

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Extension

UC Davis

University California San Francisco

University of North Carolina Wilmington

University of Washington

West Los Angeles College, Jail Program

Willow Creek Academy