Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative  was founded in 2016 in order to respond to the dual crisis of incarceration and recidivism. It brings together leading scholars, practitioners, and students to tackle the problem of mass incarceration—one of the most crucial moral and political issues of our time. Through public events, research seminars, and programs at local prisons/jails and for returning citizens in the Washington DC area, PJI works to better understand the causes and consequences of the mass incarceration crisis and to contribute to bipartisan solutions for effective reform.

Currently, we are underway with our summer semester of the Georgetown Prison Scholars Program at the DC Jail. This semester includes 2 credit-bearing courses, The Problem of God and Comparative Politics, in addition to seven non-credit courses and a weekly lecture series for 50 male and female scholars currently residing at the Jail.  Check out this new video that includes special footage from the Fall celebration of our first semester offering credit-bearing classes to our incarcerated scholars!

We have also partnered with the McDonough School of Business and the D.C. Department of Employment services to create the Pivot Program. Pivot is a ten month reentry program that combines liberal studies with training in business and entrepreneurship for returning citizens in the District. In January 2019, we welcomed eighteen Pivot Fellows, who have recently graduated from the program! Our Fellows are currently in the transitional phase of the program, where they will either begin working full-time, or working on their business ventures full time. As we continue to support our inaugural cohort of Pivot Fellows, we are also accepting applications for our Fall 2019 cohort! For more information on the Pivot Program, and to apply, please visit its website or contact our team via email at

We are thrilled to share the third PJI Annual Report, which highlights the Initiative’s activities in 2017-2018. The report includes photos and images from the many events and programs that we hosted last year, as well as a description of our mission and continuing plans for the future. Download the full report here. 

If you’re interesting in getting involved with the Prisons and Justice Initiative, please check out our available opportunities!

Subscribe to our mailing list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, for more exciting developments from the Prisons and Justice Initiative—including new events, programs, and resources—in the weeks and months to come.  To help us in our mission by contributing a gift to the Initiative, please do so here.