Equity, Access, and Social Justice

Emerson Prison Initiative (EPI)

We are committed to transforming the meaning and impact of higher education in Massachusetts by making college education more accessible to people who are incarcerated.

Emerson Prison Initiative

Who We Are

EPI provides students incarcerated at Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Norfolk (MCI Norfolk) with an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in media, literature and culture from Emerson College.

Reentry & College Outside Program (RECOUP)

EPI’s Reentry and College Outside Program (RECOUP) provides our returning students with reentry support services including college continuity resources.

Support EPI

Your donation to the Emerson Prison Initiative allows us to facilitate student learning, grow the program and support the re-entry of the students.

Contact Us

Contact the Emerson Prison Initiative.

Welcome Note from the Director

Thank you for your interest in the Emerson Prison Initiative (EPI).

We’re proud that in 2017 Emerson College became the twelfth member of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, an umbrella organization based at the Bard Prison Initiative. Hosted by the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies here at Emerson, EPI offers Emerson College classes, taught by Emerson College faculty and bearing official Emerson College credits, to students currently incarcerated at MCI-Norfolk, a state-run prison. MCI-Norfolk is a men’s medium security facility located about 45 minutes northwest of Boston, where there has never before been sustained tertiary educational programming inside. The first cohort of accepted EPI students began coursework in fall 2017, and are diving into critical analysis, academic writing, and social science theory with much vigor.

One of my core values is the democratization of education by finding ways to make education accessible to all. Since 2016 I have been working to do just that as part of Emerson’s commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. EPI’s work is only possible with the engagement of our community of supporters. Thank you for considering a donation to EPI, or supporting our program in whatever way is possible for you.

We invite you to be part of making education accessible to all.

mneesha_gellman [at] emerson.edu (Mneesha Gellman)


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Photo Credits: Karen Pearson, Daniel Pedan, Derek Palmer