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GOALS: The goal of our program is to increase the number of released prisoners that transition successfully to state community colleges upon their release from prison in order that they reorient their lives, get back on track with their education, and gain the skills necessary to secure meaningful work at a living wage thereby reducing recidivism, economic crime, and prison overcrowding.

CONSTITUENCY: Because they are incarcerated in disproportionately high numbers, the Post-Prison Education Program focuses its efforts on uneducated communities, low-income communities, and communities of color. We strive to involve individuals from these and other disenfranchised groups in each stage of the Program’s decision-making process – clearly these individuals understand better than anyone the root causes of cycles of poverty and imprisonment. The Program works closely with organizations serving minority communities, such as the Racial Disparity Project, organizations serving low-income communities, such as SEA, and organizations assisting people during the process of reentry, such as the Successful Transition and Reentry Project (S.T.A.R.). Collaborations with constituents and constituent organizations inform the Program’s efforts, expand the influence of cooperating constituent organizations, and empower constituents to be a positive influence in our communities.

While the primary goal of the program is to provide imprisoned and formerly imprisoned individuals with access to higher education, subsequent benefits are the reduction of recidivism, economic crime, and prison overcrowding, which affect everyone in Washington State.


The Post-Prison Education Program offers hope and creates opportunity for people returning to society by providing access to higher education. Imprisoned and formerly imprisoned people are offered the tools and human support they need to find gainful, meaningful employment, and break free from cycles of hopelessness, poverty, and imprisonment. The Post-Prison Education Program addresses the root causes of these problems by counteracting systemic inequalities with real educational opportunity.

The Post-Prison Education Program was founded on 20 September 2005
by people frustrated with the lack of educational programming resulting from HB 2010 (1995). They understood that real educational opportunity, not mere vocational training, can empower people returning from prison to succeed in the community, thereby reducing recidivism, economic crime, and prison overcrowding.

A diverse and highly experienced Working Committee facilitated early efforts and in March 2006 voted to incorporate as a 501(c)(3) Washington State non-profit corporation. Admissions materials and processes for the Program were developed by the Executive Director of Seattle Education Access (SEA) and the Assistant Director of Admissions of the University of Washington. Housing is arranged through transitional housing, and socially-relevant support for participants is provided through community-based organizations.

Copyright © 2007. Post-Prison Education Program. All Rights Reserved.