Odyssey Beyond Bars is a new initiative to expand UW-Madison’s presence in Wisconsin’s prison system.
Beginning in Fall of 2019, Odyssey teachers plan to offer credit-bearing courses to student-prisoners at Oakhill Correctional Institution in Oregon, Wisconsin. This effort will build upon noncredit enrichment courses that Odyssey and the Oakhill Prison Humanities Project have offered for several years inside Oakhill and other prisons.
Prison education is worth the investment. Prisoners who complete at least some college coursework are more likely to be self-sufficient upon release, and less likely to return to prison. Explore the resources below to learn more.
How Education Makes A Difference
Read the latest about the positive impact of prison education programs:
Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 2019. Most prisoners want to further their education, and about half of these prisoners want something beyond a high school diploma or technical certificate.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 26, 2018. Mike Williams’ chance at education while incarcerated created a pathway to a successful career upon release.
RAND, 2014. Prison education dramatically reduces the odds that a released prisoner will return to prison. On average, every dollar spent on prison education saves four to five dollars in re-incarceration costs.
Prison Education in the Midwest
UW-Madison joins a growing number of universities leading prison education programs in neighboring states, including Illinois.