Prison Education Programs

A student raises his hand in class

PJI’s programs offer a Georgetown education to incarcerated students, turning carceral spaces into college classrooms. Through transformational liberal arts courses, incarcerated scholars expand their thinking, engage with their peers, challenge themselves academically, and build their self-confidence. Our prison education programs are taught in person by distinguished Georgetown faculty and welcome students of all genders into the classroom.

Access to higher education has long-lasting positive impact on people in prison, and earning a degree or college credits helps students prepare for their futures after release. Georgetown’s prison education programs, offered through the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences, reach students in D.C. and Maryland.

“Education has changed the trajectory of my life … It has given me purpose as a human being.”

Halim Flowers, artist and former Prison Scholar

Prison Scholars at the D.C. Jail

The Prison Scholars Program at the D.C. Jail offers credit-bearing and non-credit classes year round, as well as a weekly lecture series with distinguished guest speakers. The program has reached over 200 students since its start in 2018.

Bachelor of Liberal Arts

A professor speaks to two incarcerated students.

The Bachelor of Liberal Arts Program is an expansion of the Prison Scholars Program that offers a full bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University for incarcerated students in Maryland. The program launched in 2022 at the Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Maryland and is expected to enroll 125 students within five years. Graduates of the program will earn a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, granted by the Georgetown University College of Arts & Sciences. The bachelor’s degree curriculum is modeled after Georgetown’s on-campus undergraduate programs and brings the university’s academic caliber and rich history of liberal arts in the Jesuit tradition to incarcerated students. 

Prison Education News


Shameka Hayes, Prison Scholar, wins milestone election from jail

Hayes was elected to be the commissioner of an Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) in Ward 7.

February 15, 2024

John Moore


Reopening the Door to Education for Prison Scholar John Moore

John Moore’s experience with the Prison Scholars Program at the D.C. Jail.

February 13, 2024

A student in a prison library


Vonté Gaffney: Changing Mindsets Through Education

By pursuing a college degree, Vonté hopes to change the narrative around incarcerated people and guide the next generation.

January 3, 2024