Dozens of individuals who are incarcerated in Maryland will be offered a chance to earn a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
According to a press release, the program is part of the Georgetown Prisons and Justice Initiative.
Founded in 2016, the program was created to address the national crisis of mass incarceration.
African-Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white Americans, according to the NAACP.
Under the initiative, the school will welcome a cohort of 25 students at the maximum-security Patuxent Institution in Jessup, Maryland.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services signed a memorandum to help implement the program. The expansion into Maryland is funded by a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Since 2018, the university’s Prison Scholars Program has offered credit-bearing courses to students who are incarcerated.
Marc Howard, Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, said the institution is looking forward to growing the program.
“We are excited to build upon the success of the Prison Scholars Program and provide an opportunity for students to earn a college degree while incarcerated,” he said. “A degree from Georgetown and the interdisciplinary coursework behind it will prepare our graduates to reenter their communities and the workforce with pride in their academic achievements.”
After release, many formerly incarcerated individuals struggle to find employment due to their criminal record and lack of education.
The Prison Scholars Program strives to help them overcome the hurdles and create a path to financial stability.
Admission into the program is expected to be competitive as it will accept applicants from across the state prison system and evaluate them based on motivation, preparedness and potential to succeed.
Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.