Saint Louis University

Prison Program: Education, Research, Service

The Saint Louis University Prison Program allowed me to learn that I do have an aptitude for higher education and that my economic upbringing and race should not and will not inhibit me from participating in all aspects of society ... Every encounter with SLU staff and associates is life-altering and an opportunity to spread love throughout the community, creating change.                                    - Prison Program Graduate

The Prison Program at Saint Louis University is a Jesuit-inspired initiative that provides access to rigorous liberal arts education for people incarcerated and prison staff and contributes to the transformation of the education and justice systems in the United States.

The SLU Prison Program has three primary projects. The Associate of Arts degree program brings SLU classes to prison employees and incarcerated people, taught on-site by SLU faculty. The College Preparatory program prepares incarcerated people for future college experiences. Finally, the Prison Arts & Education Program provides intellectually stimulating educational experiences that foster human connection, an appreciation for the arts, and resources for positive self-expression and personal growth. 

Education in prison is transformative, and the SLU Prison Program is changing the lives of incarcerated people, prison staff, their families and the community. 95% of incarcerated individuals in in the U.S. will be released, and college education reduces recidivism, often to rates as low as 5% returning to prison (compared with 65% for those without educational opportunities in prison). The SLU program also attends to the educational needs of prison staff, who are equally under-resourced in their educational opportunities. 

To support the SLU Prison Program, click here.

Prison Program staff can be reached at

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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