About UPEP


Mission: Through a commitment to social transformation, UPEP advances educational equity through on-site higher education, empirical research, and advocacy.

History: In 2016-2017, the University of Utah Honors College sponsored a yearlong Praxis Lab course titled, Education, Incarceration, and Justice. The undergraduate course was designed to examine university affiliated college-in-prison programs throughout the country, prison-university partnerships, and best practices in the field. We studied mission statements and philosophies, funding structures, organizational charts, admissions procedures, memoranda of understandings between prisons and universities, and much more. We consulted with the UDC and various administrative leaders at the University of Utah. We attended the 6th Annual Higher Education in Prison Conference in Nashville, TN and met with directors of some of the most well respected college-in-prison programs throughout the country. The final project of the Praxis Lab was the development and launch of the UPEP in spring 2017. Dr. Castro and the students in the Praxis Lab are Co-Founders of UPEP. We are indebted to the Honors College at the University of Utah for its early and ongoing support.

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