Our Mission:

Empower.

 
 
 
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Our Mission

University Beyond Bars (UBB) seeks to break cycles of incarceration, strengthen families and communities, confront racism and classism, and promote personal achievement and social reintegration by providing transformational education opportunities. Our mission is rooted in the belief that everyone has a right to education, regardless of identity, socioeconomic status, or circumstance.

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Our Impact

In 1991, there were 772 college-in-prison programs nationally in 1,287 correctional facilities. In 1994, the Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act banned all prisoners from receiving Federal financial aid in the form of Pell grants. As a consequence, by 1997 the number of college-in-prison programs had dropped to 8. In 2018, UBB offered 54 courses, awarded 920 quarter credits, and logged over 5000 volunteer hours.

40+

Degrees earned

In just the last two years, 27 student graduated with an associate’s degree and 2 students earned their bachelors.

 

15+

Years Serving Incarcerated Students

UBB grew out of the Black Prisoners Caucus and became a non-profit in 2005. We have been providing educational opportunities at the men’s prison in Monroe ever since.

 
 

5400+

Thousand of volunteer hours

UBB has over 80 committed volunteers who donate thousands of hours of their time a year. In 2018 alone, volunteers gave over 5400 hours .

 
 

Our Programs

UBB serves incarcerated individuals at the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe, WA.  We provide transferable AA and BA degrees along with a range of cultural and college prep offerings and an Arts and Lecture series that is open to the entire prison population. Each semester UBB offers approximately 25 courses to over 300 students, many of whom are attending college for the first time.

 
 
 

"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

 

 
 
 

Get Involved

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Sign Up For a Program

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Volunteer opportunities

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Make a Donation

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