Prison-to-College pipeline to launch in SA

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Baz Dreisinger, Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and Founder and Academic Director of the Prison-to-College Pipeline.

Launching for the first time in South Africa on 18 July at Brandvlei Prison in the Western Cape, is the Prison-to-College Pipeline-SA (P2CP), one of the secondary beneficiaries of funds being raised through two auctions taking place at Liliesleaf and on Robben Island as part of a series of events being organised by the CEO SleepOut™ Movement. Beneficiaries of The SleepOut™ Movement Events are selected for their tireless work within the 5 pillars required to alleviate homelessness and integrate vulnerable communities back into society, viz. Shelter; Healthcare; Nutrition; Education; and Community Upliftment.

Taking place during July this year The Nelson Mandela CEO SleepOut™ – Liliesleaf Edition on 11 July pays tribute to Madiba’s lasting legacy in what would have been his centennial year. Events allowing for the broader South African public to become involved include The Nelson Mandela South Africa SleepOut™ and The Nelson Mandela School SleepOut™ Events that also take place on Wednesday 18 July 2018 across the country.

“Universities have a powerful role to play in building safer, more just communities. It has been proven that incarcerated people who participate in correctional education are 43 percent less likely to return to prison after release. Madiba himself studied with UNISA while incarcerated—making the legacy of #EducationNotIncarceration perhaps more relevant to South Africa than any other nation,” states Prof. Baz Dreisinger, Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and Founder and Academic Director of the Prison-to-College Pipeline programme.

In South Africa, the Prison-to-College Pipeline SA (P2CP) has been developed through a partnership between Stellenbosch University and the South African Department of Correctional Services and Western Cape Community Organisations aimed at integrating prisoners back into their communities. P2CP is an innovative educational programme developed in New York by 2017-2018 Global Fulbright Scholar, Prof. Dreisinger, that provides prisoners with access to public university-level education, mentorship, and community support to increase their chances of timely graduation and employment upon release.  Stellenbosch  is the first South African host of the P2CP and is committed to making university education more widely available to people in the custody of the Department of Correctional Services, in an effort to build safer communities and provide access to career opportunities for those poised to benefit from it in ways that serve society at large.

Dreisinger, believes, “The CEO SleepOut™ Movement makes an important contribution to the lives of many homeless and vulnerable communities. More importantly, it leaves a lasting impression on those who participate and support its events by developing a deep social and philanthropic conscience within them.”

The high-profile event on the 18 behind bars at Brandvlei, open to the public by RSVP, will be a Global Celebration of #EducationNotIncarceration and the Prison-to-College Pipeline Movement themed on the famous Mandela quote “Education is the Most Powerful Weapon which you can use to Change the World.” It will feature readings by incarcerated students from around the world—from Malawi and Uganda to Australia and Chile—as well as performances by the prison band, Cape Townian recording artist Lee Saimaan, and US poet/activist Cleo Wade. There will also be celebrity appearances.

To attend this high profile event please RSVP by visiting: https://www.gofundme.com/prison2collegepipeline-SA

The Prison-to-College Pipeline model—born at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and heralded as an innovative, successful model by the New York Times, PBS, Al Jazeera and many more—creates a powerful partnership between institutions of higher learning and departments of corrections. It is premised on the notion that universities have a powerful role to play in building safer, more just communities and educating the broader public about justice; that incarcerated students bring tremendous intellectual and social gifts to places of learning; and that in order for broad justice change to transpire, a narrative shift about prisons and the people in them must occur. The program currently serves some 250 individuals in New York State, has been replicated in the UK and is currently being implemented in Jamaica and Trinidad.

 An investment in education is an investment in…

  1. public safety – those who participate in correctional education are 43 percent less likely to return to prison after release than those who do not.
  2. workforce development – those who participate in academic or vocational programs obtain employment at a rate of 13 percent higher than those who do not.
  3. the children, families, and communities to which incarcerated students eventually return – research has shown that children are more likely to attend university when their parents have done so.

Curated by social enterprise The Philanthropic Collection™ (Pty) Ltd, whose mission is Creating Conscious Capital, The SleepOut™ Movement aims to spearhead innovation in philanthropy by moving beyond current practices and beliefs, employing business strategies to do good for others. #RiseToTheChallenge now by visiting The SleepOut™ Movement – https://theceosleepoutza.co.za

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