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University Beyond Bars offers post-secondary education to the incarcerated in Washington State’s prisons, particularly prisoners of color, with the twin goals of reducing recidivism by preparing offenders to reenter society as successful, productive members of their communities, and to reduce prison violence by providing meaningful intellectual pursuits and hope to those who are serving time. University Beyond Bars advocates for enlightened solutions to society’s problems beyond the wasted human potential, violence and needless expense of having the highest rate of incarceration in the world.
University Beyond Bars seeks to replace incarceration with education and to build a society where all people are given the chance to transform themselves and their communities. We provide higher education to people behind bars to salvage the wasted potential of those our society has imprisoned and to transform them into productive, contributing citizens. We work to create a cooperative learning community inside Washington State prisons where all experience is valued and the benefits of higher education are made available to all who desire them.
We do this because ...
... the United States imprisons a higher percentage of its people than any other country in the world.
... people of color are imprisoned at over ten times the rate of white people.
... currently, nearly seven out of ten prisoners released back into the community return to prison within three years.
... the single most effective way to reduce recidivism is post-secondary education.