The Cornell Prison Education Program received a $1 million grant from The Mellon Foundation on Thursday, which will allow the program to double its presence in central New York correctional facilities, according to Rob Scott, executive director of CPEP. “We offer more than 30 courses right now with over 100 students within prison walls,” Scott said. “With this grant, we’ll jump to over 60 classes a year and probably more than 200 students once it’s fully implemented.”
The program currently offers courses taught by Cornell faculty and graduate students at Auburn Correctional Facility and Cayuga Correctional Facility. So far, CPEP has held two commencement ceremonies — the first in 2012 and the most recent in 2014 — and conferred more than 15 associate degrees to inmates each time. The grant money will enable CPEP to expand its services to Five Points Correctional Facility and Elmira Correctional Facility.