LISD Supports Princeton's Prison Teaching Initiative

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination is helping to support the Prison Teaching Initiative at Princeton University (PTI) by providing two fellowships to support PTI's growth and development for the 2017-18 academic year. LISD will be providing fellowship support to PTI student volunteers, Angela Radulescu (Psychology/Neuroscience) and Matthew King (Molecular Biology). 

In addition to serving on the PTI Leadership Team, Angela and Matt are volunteer instructors with PTI in both New Jersey Department of Corrections facilities and the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix. Angela’s fellowship work is focused on developing academic and professional resources for incarcerated students who are preparing for re-entry. She is also helping to improve PTI’s use of technology as the program grows. Matt serves as the Graduate Tutoring Coordinator for the NJDOC Friday evening tutoring program at Garden State and Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facilities. He also coordinates biology courses at the state and federal facilities.

About the Prison Teaching Initiative at Princeton University

The Prison Teaching Initiative at Princeton University (PTI) aims to reduce incarceration rates in New Jersey by increasing access to post-secondary education in state prisons. Courses in math, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences are taught by volunteer instructors, including university faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, alumni, and community members. Courses are developed by PTI instructors, accredited through Mercer County Community College, and lead to an Associate of Arts degree. Credits earned can be transferred to any community and four-year college in the state.

PTI is a founding member of NJ-STEP (NJ-Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons), which coordinates higher education throughout the state. We currently teach at the A.C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility in Bordentown, Garden State Youth Correctional Facility in Yardville, East Jersey State Prison in Rahway, and Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale.

PTI courses are taught by small teams of instructors who collaborate on course design and share teaching and grading responsibilities. University faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, alumni, and community members interested in teaching and, together with undergraduate students, in tutoring, are welcome to volunteer. Administrative assistance is also needed to maintain the program’s infrastructure. Those volunteers who will be working in the prisons must pass a NJ Department of Corrections criminal background check and attend an orientation session prior to participating in the program.