Brave Behind Bars
The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world; nearly 1 in every 100 people are incarcerated. In particular, incarceration rates among women are growing even faster than those among men, and the particular needs of incarcerated women are often overlooked. A central cause of these high incarceration rates is recidivism: 7 out of 10 formerly incarcerated people are arrested within 3 years of release. However, people who participate in educational programming while incarcerated are 43% less likely to return to prison.
Brave Behind Bars (BBB) is proposing the launch of an introductory computer science and career-readiness program for incarcerated women, focusing on programming and self-efficacy. Our program will give incarcerated women an opportunity to come together to innovate, design, and create. Through this process, they will develop skills in empathy, human-centered design, and coding. A pilot program is slated for Summer 2021 for a cohort of 30 incarcerated women, with plans to expand and scale the program following its completion.
BBB has partnered with The Educational Justice Institute, a group at MIT with over 25 years of experience in driving educational programming for incarcerated people, and Brave Initiatives, a non-profit that runs programming and self-efficacy bootcamps for young women. With IDEAS’ support, BBB will be able to launch its pilot program, and use its learnings to scale to larger future cohorts to ensure equitable access to education for the incarcerated.
SectorEducation & Training