Community Programs

The Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative (BEJI) works with a range of partners who aim to reach those currently impacted by the criminal justice system.

For more information or to get involved, contact Rosalind Kabrhel at rkabrhel@brandeis.edu.

Our programs are designed to maximize the proven-positive impact of education on individuals impacted by incarceration. We deliver our programs inside prisons, jails, and pre-release centers, but also in the community. Our students in the community include individuals recently released from incarceration who are navigating reentry, as well as students who live in communities disproportionately impacted by incarceration.

Partners and Program Descriptions

Partakers Empowerment Program

Partakers Empowerment Program (PEP) is a 13-week virtual workshop program delivered to individuals emerging from incarceration. Working with our community partner, Partakers, PEP aims to ease the challenges of reentry by improving participants’ skills and providing valuable instruction and resources of topics of critical concern. Workshop topics include: Technology, Health & Wellness, Civic Engagement, Education, Professionalism, and Personal Finance. Graduate and undergraduate facilitators design and lead these workshops, but the learning is collaborative — and fun!

Boston Pre-Release Center

The Boston Pre-Release Center is a minimum-security facility that works with incarcerated adult men as they prepare for reentry. BEJI connects graduate students and faculty with opportunities to create and deliver credit bearing courses to Pre-Release students as part of their educational program.  Offered in a traditional semester or condensed format, Pre-Release students can earn credits for completion of courses through Ben Franklin Institute of Technology.

The Petey Greene Program

The Petey Greene Program trains students to serve as tutors to incarcerated youth and adults. BEJI connects students with opportunities to receive training and placement in different facilities around the state through its partnership with Petey Greene, which also coordinates transportation to and from facilities or provides reimbursement of transportation costs. 

The Clemente Course in the Humanities

The Clemente Course in the Humanities provides free, credit-bearing humanities courses such as Art History, Writing, Literature, History, and Philosophy to adults facing economic hardship and adverse circumstances. BEJI graduate and undergraduate students assist in the facilitation and development of these courses, and provide one-on-one mentorship as Clemente students develop their writing and critical thinking skills.

Emerson Prison Initiative

The Emerson Prison Initiative (EPI) provides students incarcerated at Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Concord (MCI Concord) with an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in media, literature and culture from Emerson College. BEJI provides tutors, teaching fellows and instructors who travel to MCI Concord weekly during the fall, spring and summer semesters to instruct, mentor and tutor two cohorts of degree-bound students.