Quinnipiac/Trinity Prison Education Program at York

Since 2011, Quinnipiac has partnered with Trinity College to provide free post-secondary education to women at York Correctional Institution, Connecticut's only maximum-security facility for women. Our QU/TC partnership offers our students at York two courses per year and a short course in the summer.  We also partner with Charter Oak State College to ensure that our courses are transferable toward an Associate’s Degree, and we hope to be able soon to facilitate the awarding of Charter Oak Associate’s Degrees to women while they are incarcerated. We have taught college courses to more than 50 women, including: The Individual and the Community Freshman Seminar, Family Law and Trauma, Introduction to Ethics, Economics and Social Policy, Business Writing, Introduction to the American Legal System, Studio Art, Contemporary Mathematics, and a summer Civics Workshop. In the Fall of 2019, we will offer Earth Science, our first lab course.

Mostly, though, we teach hope.

"[In prison], personal troubles can begin to weigh heavy; the guilt of each birthday, each holiday, each milestone I miss of my baby's can try to outweigh and diminish my perseverance...then I go to class and listen to these always encouraging professors who don't see me as a failure, rather as a woman who is growing and still with a chance at life to pursue her dreams. I feel like I can be somebody."  --Brittany

We hope you will teach with us.

Contact: Mary Paddock, Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, or Linda Meyer, School of Law

Inside/Out: The Prison Project

Since 2016, Stephen McGuinn has been offering Inside/Out courses at Garner Correctional Institution, and since Spring 2018, at Carl Robinson Correctional Institution. These credit-bearing courses, structured according to a nationally-successful model, allow on-campus students to learn alongside in-prison students. Inside/Out is experiential learning. The transformative experience of learning side-by-side allows both groups of students to consider, confront, and communicate their class, race, and cultural assumptions and to think critically together, as students explore classical theories of punishment from Plato to Coates, the world of the prison, and the institutions of imprisonment. All students are evaluated on the same basis, all complete the same assignments and read the same texts. The wide range of student opinions and experiences expressed in the classroom really improves the likelihood that deep learning happens, as borne out by student evaluations of the course: 

"This experience is not just unique. It is transformative." --Mike

Contact: Stephen McGuinn, Criminal Justice 

Inside/Out: Poverty and Health

In Spring 2018, Lynn Copes offered Poverty and Health to campus-based medical students and in-prison students on an Inside/Out model at York Correctional Institution. The students collaborated on research to develop low-cost, high-impact ideas for improving women’s health in prison and presented them to the administration at York.

Contact: Lynn Copes, School of Medicine

Inside/Out: Criminal Justice

In the Fall of 2019, James Forman will offer an inside/out course at Carl Robinson for Yale and Quinnipiac Law Students, alongside in-prison students.

Contact: Linda Meyer, School of Law

Teaching People in Prison to Cope with Trauma and Recovery

Since 2014, Amber Kelly and her students have run six seminars at York Correctional to help women in prison understand and cope with trauma. Each seminar consists of ten classes per semester taught to 15-20 women. In 2018, Amber is expanding this work to Cheshire Correctional Institution, using a therapy specifically designed for men. 

Contact: Amber Kelly, School of Social Work

"Know Your Rights" Presentations

In partnership with STRIVE International and Career Resources in New Haven, the Law School Clinic has conducted "Know Your Rights" presentations to youth on a range of juvenile justice issues, including the collateral consequences of juvenile offenses, the process for erasing juvenile records, and navigating interactions with the police.

Contact: Sarah Russell or Kevin Barry, School of Law

Connecting through Literacy: Incarcerated Parents, their Children, & Caregivers (CLICC)

Since 2015 Christina Pavlak-Saltzman has helped coordinate and implement the Connecting through Literacy: Incarcerated Parents, their Children, & Caregivers (CLICC) program at QU. I supervise a team of Quinnipiac Future Teacher Organization members as they work with struggling readers in grades K-12 with incarcerated parents. I help plan Literacy Nights for K-12 students in New Haven.

Contact: Christina Pavlak-Saltzman, School of Education