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Sunday, June 25, 2023

Seven Inmates Makes History, the First to Earn College Degree From Yale Prison Education Initiative

Graduates From the Yale Prison Initiative

Nationwide — Seven inmates in New Haven, Connecticut have earned an Associate Degree in General Studies, making them the first graduates from the Yale Prison Education Initiative, a joint initiative between Yale University and the University of New Haven.

This achievement marks a significant milestone for the program which has enrolled 70 students so far in college credit courses according to Scripps News.

In May 2018, the Yale Prison Education Institute began teaching incarcerated students at the Manson Youth Institution. With the University of New Haven’s involvement in 2021, the program expanded significantly, leading to the establishment of a degree-granting program for incarcerated individuals.

Participants in the program received their associate degrees and they also have the opportunity to pursue bachelor’s degrees.

Over 130 faculty members, staff, and graduate students have dedicated their efforts to educating these students, contributing to the program’s success.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont delivered an emotional commencement speech at the graduation ceremony, saying, “I loved hearing the pride you have in yourselves and what this ceremony is all about. I heard from most of you that you define your own futures. You learn from the past, but you define your futures. I believe so much in this program and what it means.”

Alpha Jalloh, who is serving time at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, achieved the highest GPA in the class.

“I stand here proudly, but sadly, as the first person among my group of friends to earn a higher degree,” Jalloh said. “This program has enabled us to dream in different ways we never thought possible. It nourishes the soul and pushes us to find our place in this world.”

Learn more about the initiative at YalePrisonEducationInitiative.org

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