Mellon Foundation provides support for Auburn University’s prison education program

Local News

Auburn University recently received a huge grant — $900,000 to be exact. 

This grant is from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project, or APAEP, at Auburn University.

This grant will allow Auburn to have an impact on Alabama’s prison education. It will support a program that offers students at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore County the chance to pursue a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University. 

“We are living in an historic moment when the social, economic, and political consequences of mass incarceration have become part of the national conversation” Eugene Tobin, a senior program officer at the Mellon Foundation 

APAEP says they are dedicated to bringing educational opportunities to those in prison in Alabama through a partnership with the Alabama Department of Corrections. Faculty and staff currently teach 238 students, offering more than 17 classes including semester-long courses in arts, humanities, science, technology, engineering and math in eight correctional facilities across the state.

““As the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project has grown and the degree program emerged through the U.S. Department of Education’s Experimental Sites Second Chance Pell research program, Auburn and APAEP are reaching further and more substantially into the educationally under-resourced communities impacted by incarceration,” – said Kyes Stevens, APAEP director and founder

Since 2015, the Foundation has awarded $6.905 million in grants that support prison education and reentry, as well as curricular initiatives focused on incarceration. 

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