The Texas Prison Education Initiative (TPEI) is a volunteer-run organization at The University of Texas at Austin. Our mission is to provide free credit-bearing college courses to incarcerated youth and adults. We strive to create educational opportunities, reduce inequalities in higher education, and change the lives of incarcerated Texans and their families. TPEI not only expands access to higher education within prisons, but is also a driving force for equity and inclusion on campus by creating opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs—some of whom have histories of criminal legal system involvement themselves—to develop expertise at the intersection of research, teaching, and service.
Since 2018, over 250 incarcerated youths and students have enrolled in our pre-college, college, and enrichment courses, and approximately 100 graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members volunteered with TPEI. We also work with local organizations including The Center for Students in Recovery, and the Travis County Re-Entry Roundtable to enable students to continue their education upon release.
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