Skip to Main Content

tag: Higher education in prisons

Blog Post
September 22, 2022

Better Serving Library Patrons Behind Bars

New Project to Expand Public, State, Law, Prison, and Academic Library Collaboration

As Ithaka S+R’s research has well documented, people in prison have profound information needs and suffer from an equally profound lack of resources to meet those needs. Over the past several years, public, state, academic, and law libraries have increasingly sought to serve people in prison through a variety of services, whether reference by mail, lending books, or supporting incarcerated college students in conducting research. Providing these services to people in prison is not, however, always straightforward or easy,…
Blog Post
September 13, 2022

Reflections on the 2022 Correctional Education Association (CEA) Conference

The 76th conference of the Correctional Education Association (CEA) was held in Tampa, Florida at the end of August. As the professional association for Department of Corrections (DOC) education staff, this conference is an important opportunity for sharing and learning about the latest trends, trailblazers, and trials facing those who provide education in prisons. With the restoration of Pell grants for incarcerated college students now less than a year away, we were eager to hear how DOC education leadership…
Blog Post
September 7, 2022

Comments on the Department of Education’s Proposed Regulations for Pell Grant Restoration for Incarcerated People

Effective July 1, 2023, incarcerated people will once again be eligible to receive Pell grants to support their education, ending a 29 year ban. To prevent bad actors from exploiting incarcerated people and this new stream of funding, the Department of Education engaged in the negotiated rulemaking process to determine what procedures and guardrails will be put in place to ensure that incarcerated people are provided with a quality education. After publishing the notice of proposed rulemaking…
Blog Post
August 23, 2022

Technology Access in Higher Education in Prison Programs

New Survey Launch

We are excited to announce the launch of a new survey on the landscape of technology access in higher education in prison programs. This survey is a part of Ithaka S+R’s larger work on access to information for incarcerated students and the role of media review in higher education in prisons. Early research on the expansion of postsecondary educational opportunities in carceral settings is very positive. However, existing research suggests that educational and…
Blog Post
June 14, 2022

Looking Forward to ALA Annual 2022

A Banner Year for Librarians Serving Incarcerated Patrons

The American Library Association (ALA) will be holding its annual conference next week (June 23-28) in Washington DC, in person for the first time since 2019. The conference theme, “together again,” points to the critical importance of building and sustaining community, and I am especially excited to see that the conference schedule has multiple sessions that will provide opportunities for librarians who serve incarcerated people to connect and learn. Even in an increasingly censorius national…
Past Event
June 24, 2022

Library Services to the Justice Involved (LSJI) Roundtable

ITHAKA is proud to be sponsoring the Library Services to the Justice Involved Roundtable at the ALA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. When: Friday, June 24, 2022 at 10:30am – 11:30am Where: Washington Convention Center, 152B Kurtis Tanaka (Ithaka S+R), Stacy Burnett (JSTOR Labs), and Anne Ray (Reveal Digital) will be in attendance. About the roundtable:…
Past Event
June 23, 2022

Ithaka S+R at ALA

Meet up with Nicole Betancourt, Melissa Blankstein, and Kurtis Tanaka

If you are headed to the ALA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, we encourage you to meet up with the Ithaka S+R staff who will be in attendance: Nicole Betancourt, Survey and Research Operations Analyst, runs our local surveys program. Connect with her on Twitter or via email if you would like to reach out about running a survey of your faculty or students in the 2022/23 academic year.
Blog Post
February 16, 2022

Understanding Educational Space Needs in Prisons

New Project Announcement

Across higher education, classrooms and study commons have been reimagined to foster student engagement and learning. But for higher education in prison programs, it can prove challenging to find spaces optimized for education, much less space designed to support their educational needs. Access—or the lack of access—to classrooms, libraries, and scientific and computer labs, can play determining roles in the quality of higher education programming. With many competing demands for space, Departments of Corrections (DOC) may be inclined to look…
Blog Post
January 18, 2022

Turning on the TAP

Restoring Tuition Assistance for Incarcerated Students in New York

In her first State of the State address since taking office, New York Governor Kathy Hochul outlined an agenda that included repealing the 27-year ban on college tuition assistance, also known as TAP, for incarcerated students. In 1995, when the ban was first instituted, incarcerated students accounted for less than 1 percent of TAP funding state-wide. The ban dovetailed with the 1994 Crime Bill’s elimination of federal Pell grants for incarcerated students and…
Blog Post
January 5, 2022

Providing Library Services for Higher Education in Prison

An Interview with Jessica Licklider and Jeannie Colson

In a previous blog post I interviewed Jeanie Austin of the San Francisco Public Library about their new book on providing library services to incarcerated people. With the restoration of Pell funding for incarcerated students set to take place in 2023, the field of higher education in prison (HEP) is currently grappling with how to prepare for this long-awaited expansion of funding and opportunity, and academic libraries that wish to serve this student group must likewise prepare to meet…
Blog Post
October 5, 2021

Censorship in Prisons

Recording from the San Francisco Public Library's Banned Books Event Now Available

Last week was Banned Books Week, an annual event meant to celebrate the freedom to read and draw attention to censorship and other threats to free expression. As a report by the free expression advocacy group PEN America points out, America’s prisons are the locus of the country’s largest and most extensive censorship regime. While the free and unencumbered access to literature is a challenge for all incarcerated…
Past Event
November 11, 2021

Kurtis Tanaka at the 2021 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP)

Kurtis Tanaka is presenting at two sessions during the 2021 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP). The conference will take place from November 11-14. An Untapped Resource: Why and How to Partner with Your Institutional Library Speakers: Rebecca J. Bott, Education Justice Project; Josh Honn, Northwestern Prison Education Program; Kurtis Tanaka, Ithaka S+R Higher education in prison programs routinely struggle to provide incarcerated students with timely, equitable access to library materials and services. This meeting will…
Past Event
October 1, 2021

Kurtis Tanaka at San Francisco Public Library’s Banned Books Week

On Friday Oct 1, Kurtis Tanaka will present during San Francisco Public Library’ Banned Books Week on preliminary findings on technology, media review policy, prison censorship and self-censorship. For more information, please visit this site and read the abstract below: Abstract Kurtis Tanaka, of Ithaka S+R, presents preliminary findings from an ongoing research project on technology, media review policy, prison censorship and self-censorship. A key selling point of many technologies in the prison space is the ability to monitor…
Blog Post
July 16, 2021

Participate in Advancing Higher Education in Prison Research

Visit Ithaka S+R’s New Online Forum

Higher education in prison programming has entered a period of great opportunity and promise. In December 2020, the nation lifted a 26-year ban on need-based Pell Grants to incarcerated undergraduates. Over the next several years, the restoration of this federal funding stream will propel the expansion of college programming to many of the estimated half million Pell-eligible incarcerated adult learners. However, nuts-and-bolts questions persist, such as how best to scale high-quality educational programming…
Blog Post
March 15, 2021

Post-NCHEP Reflection

The Need for Digital Literacy in a Digitally-Connected World

The National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP) concluded earlier this month. Due to the pandemic, this annual meeting of practitioners, students, and advocates moved online for the first time, and, while the in-person experience of community building is not easy to duplicate remotely, the increased opportunity for engagement and access certainly aligned with this year’s conference theme, “Amplifying Access.” With its assembly of breakout sessions, plenaries, and chat-boxes, the virtualized conference was better able to prioritize…
Past Event
April 13, 2021

Oya Y. Rieger, Danielle Cooper, and Kurtis Tanaka at ACRL 2021

Oya Y. Rieger, Danielle Cooper, and Kurtis Tanaka will present  on-demand programs during the 2021 ACRL Virtual Conference. For more information on their individual sessions, please visit this link. Oya Y. Rieger, Danielle Cooper will discuss the impacts of Big Deal cancellations on patrons. Please see the abstract below: “No deal, no problem? The Impacts of Big Deal Cancellations on Patrons” Libraries are increasingly questioning the value of their Big Deal subscriptions, leading to a number of prominent cancellations…
Blog Post
March 2, 2021

Amplifying Equity in Education: 2021 NCHEP 

With the momentum of Pell restoration tempered by the continued challenges of distance-learning during the pandemic, this week marks the start of 2021’s annual National Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP). NCHEP’s guiding theme of educational equity spans five days and over 60 presentations, covering a wide range of topics, from abolitionist teaching to the power of collaborative partnerships. The concerns and strategies of this national cohort…
Past Event
March 3, 2021

Kurtis Tanaka at 2021 Conference on Higher Education in Prison (NCHEP)

Kurtis Tanaka will be presenting more on his research on higher education in prison on March 3 and March 5 at 2021 Conference on Higher Education in Prison. For more information on the individual sessions, please see below. Registration information is available here.   Paper: Amplifying Technological Equity Time: Wednesday, March 3, 1-2pm EST. Abstract: This paper will share research on the technology and information supports available to incarcerated students and their instructors. By sharing this research,…
Past Event
February 24, 2021

Kurtis Tanaka at Mapping the Future of Technology in Prison Higher Education

On February 24, Kurtis Tanaka will be moderating a session with  Open Campus and Ascendium Education Group on the future of technology in postsecondary education in prison. For more information, please follow this link.
Past Event
March 1, 2021

Meagan Wilson, Mike Fried, Julia Karon at 2021 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison

On March 1, Meagan Wilson, Mike Fried, and Julia Karon will present at the 2021 National Conference on Higher Education in Prison. Their session will focus on the development of a research infrastructure for higher education in prison by articulating the need for this research infrastructure, providing an overview of existing efforts in this area, identifying the informational gaps a research infrastructure might help fill, and providing strategies for building such an infrastructure. For more information, please visit this…