Higher Education in Prisons

When they succeed, we succeed

Statement from Senator Cory Booker

US Senator Cory Booker congratulates UC Irvine on the formation of UCI LIFTED - a prison education initiative.

The Impact of Prison Education Programs

“Being at a UC has made all the difference in my life. Prior to attending college, I was doomed to work the rest of my life in the food service industry, unsatisfied, and miserable. It has given me a whole new outlook on life as I am now attending my last quarter before graduating with a BA in Sociology. The challenges of being a formerly incarcerated, non-traditional, alcoholic/drug addict, LatinX student was indeed my prerequisite for being who I am today.”

– Henry Dominic Rodriguez

Read Henry's Story

Read Henry's Story
UCI Prison Education LIFTED CDCR Classroom

“At the age of 13, I worked for my uncle’s food truck as a cashier and through my personal observations I learned that Hispanic adults usually end up working at jobs like these. Given these experiences, I assumed that in my adulthood I would live off of a minimum wage job until I was too old to work.”

– Ester Mendez

Read Ester's Story

Read Ester's Story
UCI Prison Education LIFTED CDCR Classroom

“I was encouraged by my mother, girlfriend, and former marijuana dealer to go back to school. It was the best decision I could have ever made. I found great strength and purpose in expanding my knowledge on subjects that interested me and this foundation gave more legitimacy to my community service work.”

– Gabe Rosales

Read Gabe's Story

Read Gabe's Story
UCI Prison Education LIFTED CDCR Classroom

“Currently, I have a strained relationship with both of my brothers because of the decision that I made [to go to college]. However, the opportunity that I have in front of me is much more important, as I will be the first to graduate with anything higher than a high school diploma.”

– Jesus Adan

Read Jesus's Story

Read Jesus's Story
UCI Prison Education LIFTED CDCR Classroom

UCI LIFTED is a prison education initiative that enables incarcerated individuals to earn a bachelors degree

CONNECT

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ENGAGE

Read personal accounts of how educational opportunities impacts not only the person incarcerated, but also their families and communities.

SUPPORT

Support our initiative by viewing our fundraising goals and consider making a donation today.

Thanks to Our Partners

UCI LIFTED is partnering with Southwestern College, a state leader offering face-to-face AA-degree coursework, to extend access to a UC BA degree to students enrolled in courses at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.