Formed in 2016, The Pitt Prison Education Project (PPEP) is a network of Pitt faculty members from across the disciplines who teach courses in prisons in the western PA region. Courses are taught every semester on a variety of topics at SCI Fayette, Laurel Highlands, and Somerset. They feature small class sizes comprising incarcerated students and Pitt undergraduates. The courses are modeled on the Inside-Out prison exchange program that enables incarcerated and non-incarcerated people to encounter one another as human beings. The emphasis on collaborative learning invites people on both sides of prison walls to learn in a supportive environment. The classes embody Pitt’s commitment to excellence and are grounded in the pursuit of intellectual rigor, social justice, and personal growth.
In addition to Inside-Out offerings, PPEP has offered Inside-Only courses, such as "Discovery Series: Intro to University Studies." During COVID-19, it has also offered remote inside-only instruction. PPEP courses have served over 300 Pitt and incarcerated students. To date, PPEP has offered courses in English, Political Science, Anthropology, and Music. Incarcerated students earn Pitt credit for the courses that they can apply towards a degree. The program has received support from the Offices of the Provost and Chancellor and from the Pitt community.
Provost Ann Cudd welcomes Inside students to Pitt and reflects on higher education.
(April 16, 2019 at SCI Fayette)
Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an educational program with an innovative pedagogical approach tailored to effectively facilitate dialogue across difference. Learn more about our course model.