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welcome to university beyond bars

"If we do this together, there’s no reason we can’t have 20 people graduating next year, and 40 the year after that. Before you know it, this entire population can be enlightened and liberated through education, and we can redefine what it means to be a typical inmate.Devon, UBB graduate, Class of 2016

University Beyond Bars (UBB) provides higher education to people behind bars to fulfill the potential of those our society has imprisoned and to transform them into productive, contributing citizens. We work to create a cooperative learning community inside Washington State prisons where all experience is valued and the benefits of higher education are made available to all who desire them. 

Founded in 2005 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, UBB was the first program to offer college instruction at Washington State Reformatory after the legislature prohibited public funding of prison college programs in 1995. Today UBB offers higher education and enrichment programming to over 220 prisoners at Washington State Reformatory and the Minimum Security Unit, both at Monroe Correctional Complex.

Released UBB student Willie Jimerson talks about how students incorporate lessons into their social consciousness as well as their intellectual lives.