October 30, 2015

Jeanette Grider

Prison Program Receives Hearst Foundations Grant

The Hearst Foundations has awarded a grant of $200,000.00 over two years to the Saint Louis University Prison Program to support the Associate of Arts degree program and the Prison Arts and Education Program at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre, Missouri.

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of Education, Health, Culture and Social Service. The goal of the Foundation is to ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. The charitable goals of the Foundations reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst.

The SLU Prison Program is a Jesuit inspired initiative that provides education to prison staff and people incarcerated in Missouri, promotes service and conducts research on education and incarceration.

This grant will support two aspects of the Prison Program's activities. The Associate of Arts degree program provides prison staff and incarcerated people an opportunity to take courses on-site, delivered by SLU faculty. The Prison Arts and Education Program provides intellectually stimulating educational experiences that foster human connection, an appreciation of the arts and resources for positive self-expression and personal growth.

In 2010, the Hearst Foundations awarded the SLU Prison Program $150,000.00 to fund a pilot Associate of Arts degree program that is the only on-site degree granting program in the United States that serves both the incarcerated as well as those who work in the facility. The first group of graduates will receive their degrees this year.

Department of Corrections staff students will participate in the mid-year commencement ceremony at the Chaifetz Arena on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.

On Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, SLU will host a special graduation ceremony at the ERDCC for incarcerated students. SLU President Fred Pestello will deliver the commencement address.

For more information about the Saint Louis University Prison Program, contact director Mary Gould, at mgould9@slu.edu.

Click here or more information about the Hearst Foundations, or call 415-908-4500 or email hearst.sf@hearstfdn.org.

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