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Our Story

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On the shoulders of giants

Launched in 2018, the Justice Education Initiative builds on longstanding, pioneering work in prison and justice education by The Claremont Colleges faculty, staff, and students. These pioneers include:

  • Susan Castagnetto is director of the Intercollegiate Feminist Center for Teaching, Research and Engagement and teaches philosophy and gender & women’s studies courses at Scripps and Pomona. In 2000, she organized a conference on women, prisons and criminal justice that led to many other justice-related programs at Scripps and The Claremont Colleges. She organizes regular writing workshops for women at the California Institution for Women and Claremont Colleges students. As a 2008 fellow of the Women’s Policy Institute, sponsored by the Women’s Foundation of California, she worked with others to pass a state bill extending the amount of time that incarcerated parents have to meet requirements for reuniting with their children in foster care.
  • Dipa Basu, Laura Harris, and Barry Sanders are Pitzer College professors who founded a partnership with the juvenile probation facility Camp Afflerbaugh-Paige in La Verne, CA, in 2001. The same year, Professor Harris also founded a collegiate partnership with Prototypes, a women’s rehabilitation and recovery center, in Pomona, CA.
  • Nigel Boyle, Pitzer College dean of faculty, taught a version of his Soccer and Social Change course at the California Rehabilitation Center in 2013 and went on to develop the Pitzer Prison Education Initiative, which included co-teaching a course on soccer with Pitzer Professor Lako Tongun at a maximum-security prison in Uganda in 2014.
  • Lori Pompa, a Temple University professor of criminal justice, founded the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program in 1997. The organization has grown to include more than 100 colleges and universities, and in 2014, Pitzer College began facilitating Inside-Out courses at the California Rehabilitation Center. For more information on Inside-Out, visit our JEI Partners page.
  • Renford Reese, a Cal Poly Pomona professor of political science, founded the Prison Education Project in 2011. Through PEP, both Harvey Mudd and Pitzer students currently volunteer at local prisons, with Harvey Mudd students designing and teaching STEM curriculum, and Pitzer students facilitating academic orientations and tutoring in the prisons’ pre-GED programs. For more information on PEP, visit our JEI Partners page.