Justice Education Initiative

Justice Education Initiative

🎓 1st Inside-Out BA program for currently incarcerated students
📖 Expanding access to higher ed within & beyond prison walls
🏛️ The Claremont Colleges

Operating as usual


As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s important to acknowledge the systemic barriers that have prevented so many communities of color from accessing education. The justice education initiative is working to break down these barriers and provide educational opportunities for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. Let’s build a brighter future together .


Tomorrow evening! Catch our very own Kenny Butler in conversation with the filmmakers of the acclaimed PBS docuseries Philly DA. It's sure to be a powerful and profound discussion about the ongoing struggle for justice within and beyond the criminal legal system.

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 12/16/2021

Trailblazers, graduates, friends, FREE MEN💥 Welcome home, Reggie! Such a beautiful way to bring a difficult year to a close: a reminder of the light, love, and resilience that persist through even the darkest of times. You'd never guess it from their smiles, but these four men have survived over 80 years of incarceration and system-involvement combined.

That's half of our cohort home, four to go.

📸: Kenny & Nigel


Tomorrow at 11am PST! Join us for the first of a free three-part series on reducing bias in the classroom: whether inside or outside the prison. Ernst and Leigh are both fabulous teachers and lovely human beings, with Ernst specifically bringing the insights of 14 years of prior incarceration to bear on the many forms of teaching, coaching, and mentoring he does. Don't miss it!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY FREDDY🎉🎈 1st one on the outs in 14+ years! Welcome back to a friend, colleague, data whiz, and mean chef 😉 We celebrate you and your freedom extra hard today. Check that ray of light! Hope you're enjoying a beautiful day in the sun.

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 10/13/2021

Formerly incarcerated goes international?! ✈️🇺🇬🇲🇽🇮🇪🤞 Fingers crossed for Daniel, Freddy, and Kenny as their Fulbright applications move forward in the selection process! You all did such incredible work on your apps: writing the most beautiful and thoughtful essays exploring your pasts, presents, and future goals, and what you intend to carry forward and leave behind. Congratulations on completing this first crucial step!


Kenny Butler: "Today is the 129th day of the rest of my life! My mind races as I take in my surroundings. My heart aches as I observe the toxicity that exists in the family unit. But my soul is at peace because I know that as long as I'm waking up in the morning I have a chance to love."

Just want to take a moment to uplift Kenny's words and his story. From his smiling face and sharp answers to Pitzer College Student Senate questions, you'd never guess that this is a man who spent the last 15 years in prison, where he got access to formal education for the first time in his life. Kenny is the first person ever to be elected to the Pitzer Student Senate while incarcerated, and with good reason. He is a brilliant and dedicated scholar with a big heart and big dreams.

We know it ain't easy adjusting to a whole new world out here, but we see you putting in the work day after day. We respect and admire you so much, and we're always in your corner 🥊


Tonight! Come chat with about the relationship between the criminal legal system and human health!

As Skye Williamson mentioned today on a panel about prison education's role in advancing racial equity, it's critical for institions and inviduals alike to recognize and honor the full humanity of folks who are incarcerated. And this includes holistic and trauma-informed attention to issues of human health and wellness.

Register for tonight's conversation here: http://bit.ly/hmcjusticetalks2

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 10/07/2021

LIVE from CRC for the very first time, our first graduate and valedictorian, Yusef Pierce will be speaking about the role that prison education programs can play in facilitating racial equity.

Don't miss Yusef and three other incredible panelists tomorrow at 12:30pm PST! Register at the link in our bio.

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 10/06/2021

Meet the first of our amazing panelists for Thursday's event: Mr. Joel Castón! He is the first person in the history of the District of Columbia to win an elected office while incarcerated. He is also a mentor, an author, a student at and the founder of Currency Catchers Capital Coaching, which empowers low-income individuals to gain financial freedom and build generational wealth. Mr. Castón speaks fluent English, Spanish, French, and enjoys Zumba, yoga, and mindfulness.

He'll be sharing his expertise and insight on the role that colleges and universities can play in building racial equity through prison education programs. Register for the event at the link in our bio!

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 10/05/2021

Yusef Pierce, valedictorian of Pitzer's 1st incarcerated cohort, LIVE from CRC on a panel about the role that prison education programs can play in facilitating racial healing and equity! Unfamiliar with the ? We'll be posting about it in the days leading up to the event.

Yusef is one of four incredible incarcerated and formerly incarcerated panelists who will be sharing from their own rich experiences of

Check out their bios on slide 2, and register at the link in our bio for Thursday's event!

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 10/03/2021

Catch up with our Daniel & Kenny on their experiences as Pitzer students both during and after their incarceration 🍊🔓

"Fifteen years ago, Kenny Butler was at a low point. He had just been sentenced to life in prison.

Now Butler, 47, is on track to earn his bachelor's degree through a new program at Pitzer College..."

"Before he enrolled in the program, [Duron] said, he had planned to get a job at a warehouse after he got out of prison, since some don't do background checks and all he had before prison was a high school diploma.

'I've always been smart and always wanted to go to school but never had the opportunity,' Duron, 40, said. 'The money wasn't there and the guidance wasn't there.'"



FREE virtual training on transforming our education system into one that's trauma-informed, restorative, and truly supportive of our youth. The is real, and educational interventions are a significant part of countering the injustices of : not just after the fact, but before.

Please join & School of Social Work on Wednesday, October 20th from 12:30-2:30 pm PST for Trauma-Informed Programs and Practices for Schools.

Zoom link to be sent the day of the event. $10 donation suggested for those who can afford it.
Link to register: https://secure.everyaction.com/P_x_ugF57UGOHLupHxMuOw2

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 09/29/2021

Dr. Angela Davis LIVE (via zoom) in 3 weeks! Hear directly from Dr. Davis on the grassroots struggle for and the cultivation of and in our communities. You can even submit the questions you've always wanted to ask her! RSVP here: bit.ly/tcedavis


3 free. 5 to go.
WELCOME HOME FREDDY!🎉 After 14 long years away, Freddy is FREE & degree-d up! Let's show him some love! Venmo: justice_educ
Cash tag: $NeCedeMalis

"'Ne Cede Malis' is my new life motto," he explains. "It's Latin for, 'yield not to misfortune.'"

One of the first graduates of our BA pilot program at the California Rehabilitation Center and the third of eight to be released, Freddy is ready to re-launch his life outside, and wanted to share the following:

"Hello, colleagues! I just want to let you know that yesterday was my first day of freedom! And I really want to thank you all for your best wishes and your support. I plan to continue my education, and I want to thank you for always keeping an open mind about us and for giving us the push to keep moving forward."


A window into the admissions process for our incarcerated students! 🪟

One of the challenges with carceral education is that most colleges provide individual classes without also providing a structured degree program. Students can therefore end up with dozens of eclectic classes and no clear pathway towards a degree.

That's one reason we're so grateful for our incredible partners at who not only provide high quality education to our shared students, but also work with each of them to ensure they have all the classes they need to earn their associate's degrees.


🎶☃️ Do you wanna build a *bachelor's degree pathway in prison*?

Over the coming days and weeks, we're excited to share some of the insights catalogued by our brilliant assessment team from in hopes of inspiring the expansion of higher education in prisons across the country.

Pictured: Slide 1 - BA Pilot Program Design


Calling all 5C students! Interested in taking an Inside-Out course this fall? 💃

Dance 152-PZ: Choreographing Our Stories
Tuesdays 3:00-5:45pm
(depart campus at 2:30 and return at 6:15pm) at Prototypes Women’s Center
8 Claremont College students will dance alongside 8 women from Prototypes (a level 1 CDCR women’s prison facility on Arrow Highway, between Claremont & Pomona). This is a great opportunity to experience the power of dance, storytelling and Inside-Out pedagogy.

Contact Professor Suchi Branfman with questions: [email protected]

Pictured: Professor Branfman and a cohort of dancers at Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans, Louisiana


A sweet gift from & a virtual thank you to all of you who are working in so many ways towards justice for system-impacted members of our communities. Your work, your kindness, your compassion, your striving for justice matter so much! Our incarcerated students constantly express their gratitude for all the support they receive, as well as amazement at how many people are ready and willing to see their incarceration as just one of the many experiences they bring to the table.


🥳 All 8 of our BA cohort members were nominated for Student Leadership Recognition Awards this semester! They're constantly breaking down barriers on both sides of the prison gates - for themselves and for those around them and behind them.

We are so proud of each of you and see all the hard work you're putting into starting new lives. It's not easy to reintegrate. But it will get easier, and someday you'll be all the better equipped to support and mentor people who find themselves wearing the shoes you're wearing now. Know that it's okay to struggle, give yourself a lot of grace, and remember that what seems like a mountain before you will one day look like a molehill behind you :)


We are honored to be raffling off this incredible piece by Mokhtar, in support of his recent re-entry process. In the spirit of dreaming, fighting and working towards abolition and care, please join us in supporting our dear friend in his free journey! This triptych titled “The Three States” is enamel on Masonite, 19”x 35”, 2021.

Each raffle ticket is $25, raffle will be going until August 5, midnight PST. **venmo $25 (as many times as you like) to enter: -Branfman** Winner will be announced on August 6!!!

[image description: three panels with vertical strips of color, blues & yellows on the left, greens & blues in the middle & reds, pinks and greens on the right.]
Reposted from


First batch of 320+ applicants to the 8 classes we're offering this fall. A staggering 1 in every 4 folks currently incarcerated at CRC initially made requests to apply.

Yusef's and Freddy's graduations undoubtedly contributed to this wave of heightened interest by encouraging their colleagues to strive for their own degrees. But underpinning this widespread excitement too is a widespread commitment among our students to positive self-transformation and changing the courses of their lives.

One consortium of private colleges can only offer so many classes, so we're very excited to be working with professors from Piu and this fall to expand educational opportunities inside.


118 uplifting notes of congratulation for our first two grads, Freddy and Yusef! Thank you to everyone who took the time to sign their yearbooks. You definitely brought some sunshine to their days.


GRE prep starts today for some of our determined BA students, most of whom haven't even graduated yet. Their active dedication in their quests for knowledge - both inside and outside the classroom - constantly teaches and inspires us, and we hope it also encourages anyone out there who's ever been told that they can't go any further with their education.

Almost all of our students are the first in their families to earn college degrees, and many of them intend to go on to grad school and eventually to doctoral programs. On the one hand, we're talking about pieces of paper that certainly don't define a person or make one better than the other. But we're also talking about breaking down stereotypes and self-doubt, and expanding opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people to pursue their dreams and goals through higher education if that's the route they choose.


job opp open to formerly incarcerated folks! is a trauma-informed security service comprised of talented system-impacted folks who simultaneously fill a vital niche in their communities while getting their own footing back in the labor market.

They're an offshoot of which does incredible work for reentry populations in both Los Angeles and the Bay. Check out more about their work and their story here: timelistgroup.org

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 07/09/2021

🛏️Transitional housing opp in the Bay Area: 2-yr sober-living program open to women in recovery and those impacted by domestic violence, homelessness, human trafficking, and former incarceration.


Openings like this can be few and far between, especially in the Bay, where housing costs are some of the most expensive in the country. Please share!


"Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages." - Angela Davis

Radio silence for one more week while our hardworking educational staff partners are on vacation. We miss chatting with our students and hearing their voices and laughter. Meditating on the ways this temporary absence mirrors their far more significant and protracted exiles from their families and communities. Sending love and solidarity to anyone who loves someone in prison or jail 🤍


33.9303° N, 117.5735° W
34.1043° N, 117.7051° W

P1 of Freddy and Yusef's yearbook: reflecting on the vast distance between two places so geographically close together, and the power of education to knit them together in remarkable ways.

For those of you who purchased yearbooks in support of our students, thank you! We had some delays in production, but your orders should be shipping within the next few days. For anyone still interested in purchasing a copy, the link is in bio.

Photos from Justice Education Initiative's post 06/07/2021

YEARBOOK FUNDRAISER IS LIVE!💥 Freddy's release date is T-1 month away, and as our BA cohort members re-enter society, we want to do everything we can to help set them up for success.

All proceeds from yearbook sales ($20/each) will go directly to them, and you'll also have a beautiful way to commemorate their remarkable achievements as the first students in Pitzer history to complete their bachelor's degrees while incarcerated.

Link to purchase here & in bio! https://justice-education-initiative.myshopify.com/

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Videos (show all)

Kenny Butler: "Today is the 129th day of the rest of my life! My mind races as I take in my surroundings. My heart aches...




1050 N Mills
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