The mission of the Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) is to provide courses leading to college degrees for people incarcerated in upstate New York State prisons; to help CPEP students build meaningful lives inside prison as well as prepare for successful re-entry into civic life; and to inform thought and action on social justice issues among past and present CPEP students, volunteers, and the wider public. CPEP was launched with a grant from the Sunshine Lady Foundation, founded by Doris Buffett. This support elevated Cornell's early offering of a few prison courses at Auburn to a regular degree-granting program there. Support from the foundation elevated Cornell's few courses at Auburn to a regular degree-granting program. Doris attended the first graduation at Auburn in 2012, where her witty, no-nonsense zingers would draw people to their feet in applause. Doris Buffett walked the walk; we would not be where we are today were it not for her.
Friends of Guest House helps women successfully reenter the community from incarceration. Since our founding in 1974, Guest House has helped more than 5,000 women break the vicious cycle of incarceration, reunite with their families, and reintegrate into their communities. We envision a world where your past does not define your future.
The Louisiana Parole Project helps rebuild the lives of men and women who have served long prison sentences. A major part of this reintegration is transitional housing - a safe, stable residence where our clients can begin the process. To date, we have been able to give more than 280 men and women the critical assistance they needed to successfully transition back into their communities.
New Beginnings is an initiative of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison and provides critical support to Hudson Link students, including housing, upon their release. New Beginnings creates and operates supportive temporary housing to provide safe and secure housing to students and support to seek employment and/or education, and – most importantly – helps them rejoin and enrich their communities. New Beginnings was created to help ensure that each student’s journey ends in success – for their benefit, and that of their families and our community.
Through a partnership with the Virginia Department of Corrections and the generous support of the Sunshine Lady Foundation, Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Higher Education in Prison program was established in 2006, with classes starting at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. To date, over 100 students have earned Associate of Science degrees in General Studies while incarcerated. Those degrees have prepared the graduates for transfer to a four-year college or university to complete a bachelor’s degree. 100% of the instruction is delivered in a classroom-based, face-to-face format at FCCW. The Sunshine Lady Foundation's support allowed the program to become the largest program serving incarcerated women in the state of Virginia.
Prison Programs at The College at Southeastern offers a fully accredited Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. The mission of the program housed at the North Carolina Correctional Institute for Women is to equip and educate incarcerated women to lead and serve in whatever they do, wherever they are. We seek to eliminate barriers to post-employment by giving women the tools and confidence they need to start their own businesses or to be a positive asset to already established ones. We want students to contribute to their families and society in a positive way whether they are working post-release, receiving more education, or completing their sentence.
With essential funding and inspiration from Doris Buffett and the Sunshine Lady Foundation, the University of Maine at Augusta, in cooperation with Maine’s Department of Corrections, started a college program at the maximum security Maine State Prison in 2006. The program has graduated hundreds of students with both associates and baccalaureate degrees. This level of success encouraged expansion of the college program into every adult correctional facility in Maine, where in the words of Maine DOC Commissioner Randall Liberty, “It has had a transformative impact on the culture of corrections and in the mindset of residents.”
Since 2008 The Sunshine Lady Foundation has supported academic opportunities for incarcerated students through Walla Walla Community College at the Washington State Penitentiary and Coyote Ridge Corrections Center. The Associate of Arts DTA allows for transfer to four-year institutions within guidelines established by those schools. Offering classes in areas such as humanities, social sciences, and natural science, taught by college level instructors brings a wealth of knowledge into the prison facilities and opportunities to expand the academic opportunities and experiences of the students as well as the staff.