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Our Mission

To confront mass incarceration as a defining social problem of the contemporary era, The Claremont Colleges have launched the Justice Education Initiative. Supported by a $1.1 million grant awarded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Pitzer College, the Initiative will coordinate collaborative justice education programs across The Claremont Colleges, at regional carceral institutions and with local community partners.

Our Goals


  • a cohort of Claremont Colleges and Norco College students engaged with justice education through classes, study abroad experiences, and community-based programs related to the criminal justice system
  • a new intercollegiate academic program for justice education
  • more Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program courses and Insight Garden Program opportunities at regional carceral institutions


  • Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program courses at the California Rehabilitation Center and establish Inside-Out courses at the California Institution for Women
  • community partnerships and projects focused on criminal justice education and policy
  • support for formerly and currently incarcerated students through Pitzer College’s New Resources Program


  • student learning and involvement in justice education across the Claremont Consortium
  • incarcerated students’ opportunities for enrollment in credit-bearing courses to the benefit of transfer and degree completion, as well as re-entry
  • public policy reform of California’s criminal justice system

Our Aims and Values

EDUCATE students on issues related to the criminal justice system and prison education through on-campus as well as semester-long, credit-bearing courses in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.
UNDERSTAND the historical, political, and socioeconomic context of mass incarceration, as well as its deleterious impacts on the families and communities it affects.
CONNECT issues related to the criminal justice system and prison education through workshops, conferences, guest speakers, film series, and art exhibits at The Claremont Colleges.
IMAGINE a world in which people’s needs are met and harm is prevented by addressing injustice, inequity, and violence as root causes of incarceration; a world in which we work together toward justice and healing through restoration rather than punishment.
ACT decisively from an interdisciplinary framework to drive change in conversations, policies, and systems that pertain to the problems of mass incarceration.

Our Plan

Supported by a five-year Mellon Foundation grant, the Justice Education Initiative’s long-term, multiphase plan envisions an ongoing, sustainable program that marshals the power of higher education to tackle the problems of mass incarceration.

Year 1 (2018-19): Orchestrated community planning process to develop intercollegiate justice education programs, projects, and partnerships with the goal of implementing new and supporting existing curricular and co-curricular programs and activities that engage undergraduates and faculty from the Claremont Colleges, community partners, and local carceral institutions in a unified mission for educational and social change.

Year 2 (2019-2020): Fall 2019 – Hired Learning Community Coordinators among JEI-involved faculty at each of the five campuses and trained them in Inside-Out pedagogy; developed the Justice Education Working Group to coordinate and expand intercollegiate collaboration on the forthcoming BA pathway and on-campus justice education studies.

Spring 2020 – Learning Community Coordinators facilitated a semester of Inside-Out classes, creating a cohort of students passionate about justice education studies and building a supportive network of faculty, staff, and peers that continues to study justice-related social issues and deploy innovative interventions.

Year 3 (2020-2021): Fall 2020 – Matriculated the first cohort of incarcerated students at the California Rehabilitation Center into Pitzer College as organizational studies majors.

Spring 2021 – Continue to support both “inside” and “outside” students and faculty in their existing studies and work, while actively expanding options for augmented participation in pragmatic justice-related work.

Year 4 (2021-2022): Our inaugural cohort of incarcerated students will complete their bachelor’s degrees and graduate by December of 2021; JEI will host the inaugural Justice Education Initiative Conference: with speakers and workshops drawn from educational institutions and community-based organizations across the country.

Year 5 and beyond: Officially establish intercollegiate major and minor pathways in Justice Studies at each of the 5C’s, as well as a permanent, intercollegiate Center for Justice Education; sustain the integration of justice education into The Claremont Colleges’ academic and co-curricular offerings while continuing to develop new partnerships and opportunities for student and community engagement.