Saint Louis University

The Prison Arts and Education Program provides intellectually stimulating educational experiences for incarcerated persons, prison staff, and community members that foster human connection, an appreciation for the arts, and resources for positive self-expression and personal growth.

The Prison Arts and Education Program at the ERDCC has four primary components:

Inside Out Speaker Series, a  series of talks, readings, and programs attended by members of the ERDCC community (incarcerated men and staff) and SLU faculty, staff and students. Past speakers and performances have included a discussion on Interfaith Dialogue, poetry readings, and a performance by SLU theater students;

Video-in-Prison Project, a program facilitated by student volunteers from SLU's St. Louis campus who record presentations and lectures on the SLU main campus in St. Louis and produce the material for rebroadcast on the prison's closed-circuit television station. The VIP Project makes content available to the prison's entire incarcerated population;

The Prison Arts Project brings arts programming (performance and studio) to the ERDCC; 

The Beautiful Prison is an annual colloquium that invites students and faculty from SLU, as well as incarcerated men and staff at the ERDCC, to engage in dialogue about the prison in a transformed state. The proceedings from the colloquium are bound in an edited collection.

Jonathan Sawday, PhD, discusses William Blake as part of the Inside Out Speaker Series


To support the Prison Program, click here.

Prison Program staff can be reached at