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LIBERAL ARTS COURSES AND RESOURCES FOR INCARCERATED STUDENTS ON LONG ISLAND

Reversing the Prison Pipeline

Transforming lives, families, and communities. Sound Justice Initiative is blazing a new trail for justice involved people in our local jails and re-entry by reversing the pipeline from school-to-prison to court-campus-career.

SOUND JUSTICE INITIATIVE

Jail Education Program

We provide adults and young adults in county jails college and employment preparation courses.

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WHAT WE OFFER

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Through the liberal arts, SJI offers thought provoking liberal arts mini-courses, employment preparation and life skill classes.

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PHILOSOPHY

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We create pathways to ensure the continuity of educational opportunity in higher education, vocational/technical and apprenticeship programs.

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WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?

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We assist in the completion of college, financial aid, and employment applications, and more,

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93%

LIBERAL ARTS DEVELOP A STRONG SENSE OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND A BROAD RANGE OF SOFT SKILLS THAT 93% OF EMPLOYERS AGREE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HARD SKILLS. 
-THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

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HOW WE HELP

Education for Transformation

Our Advocacy

Self & Individual/Group

The liberal arts equip students with critical and creative thinking skills.  It cultivates empathy and hones oral and written communication skills, which are essential to becoming strong advocates for themselves and others.

Systemic & Structural

Currently, “Independent Student” status for those under 24 does not include incarcerated or youth (17-24) recently released. SJI calls on removing the discriminatory practice described in the definition of “Independent Student” under §1087(d)(1) of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and to include incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth (17-24) in the definition.

SJI supports state and national legislation that would remove criminal justice information questions from college admissions application and employment applications,

2023-2024 Award Year

For the 2023-2024 award year, the department plans to completely remove both the selective service and drug conviction questions from the FAFSA. as well as the option to register with the selective service via the FAFSA. We will also remove any associated comments codes and messaging that indicate a resolution is required for federal title IV eligibility.

Courses in Jails

We offer liberal arts module courses in county jails to incarcerated women and men. Through a learner-centered approach, our students are introduced to an interdisciplinary field of studies where they explore topics such as truth, experience, ethical responsibility, power, and more.

Courses Taught Include:

  • Ethics of Listening

  • Philosophy of the Self

  • Goddesses of World Mythology

  • Philosophy of Happiness

  • Just Think

  • Inner Thoughts (a course designed and named by students)

  • Psychology: Women, Trauma, and Crime

  • Mind-bend: On Thinking Creatively

  • Act Local: Civics, Government, Community

  • Interpretation of Dreams

  • and many more

Re-Entry Programs

Re-entry programs

  • Liberal arts courses in county jails

  • Education Pathway Program

    • College

    • High Skills Vocational/Technical Training

    • Apprenticeship Programs

  • Community-based Liberal Arts course
     

Post-secondary education benefits

  • Civic Participation

  • Economic Opportunities

  • Supportive Social Networks

  • The Institute for Research on Labor & Employment

WATCH VIDEO

OUR

Findings

Following what has proven to drastically decrease re-incarceration rates, programs such as Bard Prison Initiative and Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison where they report a recidivism rate of between 2% and 4%, SJI is addressing, at the local level, educational needs earlier in the criminal justice system process with two objectives

1) Decrease recidivism and court involvement

2) End long-term prison sentences

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HELP IS OUR GOAL

What Makes Us Different

We Educate

Education is core to rehabilitation our liberal arts module program equips students with skills, ethos, and experience to complete a college degree.

We Help

-Foster self-confidence, dignity and self-respect

-Break the cycle early in the criminal justice process

-Reduce recidivism (reincarceration)

-Promote more peaceful encounters with others

We Build

We create Pathways to educational opportunities and connect students to accredited educational programs and needed community resources to ensure their success in re-entry.

Our Mission

We break the cycle of incarceration early in the criminal justice system process with liberal arts courses and programs in local jails and in communities.

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