October 21, 2013

Jeanette Grider

Prison Initiative Receives $10,000 Gift from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis

This is their third gift given to support the ongoing program.

Saint Louis University has received a $10,000 gift from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis in continued support of its Prison Initiative (formerly the College-in-Prison Program).

The Foundation first partnered with the University in funding this program with a gift of $5,000 in 2009 in support of the Certificate in Theological Studies offered by the University at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre, Mo. Prison Program director and theology professor, Kenneth L. Parker, Ph.D., founded the Saint Louis University Prison Program in 2008.

With a $150,000 gift from the Hearst foundation in 2010, the program has now expanded to an Associates of Arts degree program held at the prison administered through SLU's School for Professional Studies for both incarcerated men and prison staff. It is the only on-site program that offers coursework to both staff and incarcerated students.

A class in session at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center.

In addition to the academic degree program, the Prison Initiative plans and facilitates arts and education programming at both the ERDCC and SLU's campus for students, staff, faculty and the community. The program consists of a speaker series, arts programming, a video project and a colloquium focused on the re-visioning of prison.

In addition, the Prison Program received a President's Research Fund award in 2011 to analyze data collected during the course of the A.A. degree program assessing the impact of the program on participants.

About the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis: The Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis is a local funder that supports efforts to see the Church brought into the lives of hurting people and people included in the healing life of the church.

For more information about the Prison Initiative program, contact Julie O'Heir at (314) 977-3206 or oheirja@slu.edu.

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