Prison Education Program (PEP).

The Prison Education Program (PEP) brings Columbia courses to students who are currently incarcerated in local prisons and jails. At present, PEP operates in several state, federal, and municipal correctional facilities including: Taconic, Sing Sing, Queensboro, Edgecombe, Rikers, and Metropolitan Detention Center (Brooklyn).

Courses are offered in the social sciences, the natural sciences, the humanities, and in Columbia’s undergraduate Core Curriculum. Students earn Columbia credits through the School of Professional Studies for successfully completed coursework. Credit earned in courses taught by Columbia instructors may be used toward degree fulfillment at other institutions, including (through our partnership with Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison) Marymount College and Mercy College.

We have offered over 43 courses in

Columbia’s Core Curriculum
Medical Humanities

Latin American and Iberian Cultures

to over 500 incarcerated students who have earned college credits.

For more information about the Prison Education Program, including opportunities to provide instruction or academic assistance to our incarcerated students, please contact Center for Justice Associate Director Claudia Rincón (

Columbia faculty and graduate students interested in teaching at Taconic Correctional Facility, please contact Jean Howard ( or JIE Program Manager Catherine Suffern (

Graduate and undergraduate students interested in learning more about our Rikers Program should reach out to Rikers Education Program Coordinator Mia Ruyter (