TUPIT-Laptops for Incarcerated Tufts Students

$30,739
Donated
154% of $20,000 goal
146
Donors
This campaign ended on June 30, 2023, but you can still make a gift to Tufts University by clicking here!
Matches iconMatches
View All
An Anonymous DonorJohn Szlyk, M.D., M73 and Betsy Busch, M.D., M75 matched $1 for each $1 donated, donating a total of $2,500
About

As the Tufts University Prison Initiative (TUPIT) prepares for the graduation of our first cohort of incarcerated students earning their bachelor’s degree in Civic Studies from Tufts in December 2023, we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting a high quality Tufts University education for all of our students, including our students behind the wall and those coming home from the program in prison. If we have learned anything about the experiences of our students reintegrating into society after prison, it is that any experience with technology while still in prison eases the stress of adjustment to the digital world outside.

We are seeking your support today to help us support our students’ success when they come home and to help us create truly equitable learning environments for people serving time through the purchase of 35 laptops for our incarcerated students. 

We are proud to extend our goal $7,500 so that we can purchase books, materials, and computer equipment for our upcoming fourth MyTERN cohort. MyTERN is our Civic Studies certificate program for formerly incarcerated people in Massachusetts, many of whom were in our programs inside. We offer 4 Tufts University courses, with easily transferrable credits, and wraparound reentry services at no cost. As a part of the program, students receive equipment for our technology literacy course, where they learn to navigate the Google Suite, Microsoft Office, email, and other professional web-based services. The $7,500 will go toward purchasing software licenses, laptops, and other technology needs for our students.

TUPIT’s PATHWAY FOR DECARCERATION

TUPIT began in 2017 with a single Tufts class inside a medium-security men’s prison, and since then the initiative has grown quickly. The TUPIT program now spans three Massachusetts state prisons, creating momentum toward decarceration for people incarcerated at the maximum-, medium-, and minimum-security prisons. This pathway, followed by a robust accredited reentry program, enables students to take part in the transformational experience of higher education while working to get out and stay out of prison. 

Our incarcerated students spend 4 ½ years doing Tufts coursework, earning an associate degree after 2 ½ years from our partner institution, Bunker Hill Community College. After completion of the associate degree, most students become eligible to earn a Tufts bachelor’s degree in Civic Studies with two more years of coursework. 

As a part of this pathway from prison to college, TUPIT runs a community-based reentry program called MyTERN on the Tufts campus. MyTERN provides the opportunity to earn 12 transferable credits and a Tufts University undergraduate certificate in Civic Studies to students coming home from prison – some from our program and others from elsewhere. Through continued engagement in our program, MyTERN students are supported finding meaningful employment, stable housing, and resources to continue their degrees after earning the certificate. 

All of what TUPIT is able to do stems from the sense of community and belonging that we are able to build together. This is only possible because of YOU, the generous supporters who have helped to sustain and grow this initiative from our very first crowdfunding campaign.

Why Higher Education in Prison?

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 76% of formerly incarcerated people are rearrested within 5 years with about half of those arrests occurring the first year of release. College in prison, however, reduces those rearrest rates down to under 14% for those who earn an associate degree and under 5% for a bachelor's degree. A RAND Corporation study proved  that not only does recidivism decrease by 43% but also employment opportunities increase by at least 13% with any form of education inside. To continue our mission of keeping our students in their communities and with their families, we need your help. 

Your previous donations have already…

  1. Helped our first cohort of incarcerated students earn their associate degrees and approach the finish line for the bachelor’s.
  2. Provided the resources for TUPIT to draw a second cohort of incarcerated students who will earn their associate degrees in 2024. 
  3. Helped us expand our single Inside-Out course at the maximum-security prison to a full two-semester certificate program. 
  4. Built up our MyTERN reentry program to include a restorative justice program with bi-monthly community-building circle sessions. 
  5. Allowed us to expand MyTERN programming to include financial literacy and computer skills courses.

Today, your donation will allow us to buy brand new laptops for our students in our degree program at Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Concord. With these laptops, TUPIT will be able to begin to support our students developing the necessary skills for reintegration into contemporary society. With your generosity, we look forward to creating a more equitable learning experience for incarcerated TUPIT students by providing the kinds of resources that students enjoy on the main campus.


Updates
Thanks to you, a new goal and a match

Dear TUPIT friends, community members, and supporters, 

We are thrilled to announce that we have reached our goal of $20,000 (and counting) for our campaign to purchase new laptops and software for the Tufts University Prison Initiative students at MCI-Concord. We have started to make those orders and are working with Tufts Technology Services to get the laptops ready for use by the fall semester. In the 7 exciting Tufts University courses running in the fall, students will now be able to complete research through some exciting software that their new laptops will include. Each will have a license for the JSTOR Index data base, which is a huge listing of humanities texts, most of which are available through the Tufts library.  This will be so helpful as the soon-to-graduate first cohort of students work on their final Civic Studies capstone projects this fall. The second cohort will use the Affinity graphic design software in the course Graphic Art: Book Design with Professor Chantal Zakari from Tufts’ School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The students will also have access to software program that facilitates typing skills and to resources for Spanish language learning for their 3-semester long course sequence of Spanish 1, 2, and 3 with Professors Amy Millay and Conchita Davis. 

Thank you for all of your support already. Through your financial contributions, you continue to enable this program for incarcerated Tufts students. 

We would like to make another push and extend the goal $7,500 so that we can purchase books, materials, and computer equipment for our upcoming fourth MyTERN cohort. MyTERN is our Civic Studies certificate program for formerly incarcerated people in Massachusetts, many of whom were in our programs inside. We offer 4 Tufts University courses, with easily transferrable credits, and wraparound reentry services at no cost. As a part of the program, students receive equipment for our technology literacy course, where they learn to navigate the Google Suite, Microsoft Office, email, and other professional web-based services. The $7,500 will go toward purchasing software licenses, laptops, and other technology needs for our students. 

To get TUPIT to this goal, two donors, John Szlyk, M.D., M73 and Betsy Busch, M.D., M75, have offered a $2500 dollar-for-dollar match! Your additional support will allow the MyTERN students to build the necessary skills for full reintegration into society, enabling them to find meaningful employment and continue their education at various institutions across Massachusetts. We will continue to work to provide transformative educational experiences for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people in Massachusetts with the aim of facilitating increased health and decreased incarceration.

Sincerely, 

Hilary Binda, TUPIT Founding Director
& the entire TUPIT-MyTERN-Tufts community 

394 days ago by Tessa Buckley

Donor Affiliations
Book icon8%Students
Gradhat icon19%Alum
Parent icon13%Parents
Suitcase icon17%Faculty/Staff
Friends icon42%Friends
Most Recent Donors
Margaret Connell photo
Margaret Connell
Henry Richardson photo
Henry Richardson
Judy Feldmann photo
Judy Feldmann
Tracy Mallory photo
Tracy Mallory
Louise Bond photo
Louise Bond
Daniel Bell photo
Daniel Bell
Gerry Finkelstein photo
Gerry Finkelstein
janice Savin Williams photo
janice Savin Williams
Celia Strumph photo
Celia Strumph
Erin Sullivan photo
Erin Sullivan

Advocates

John Szlyk, M.D., M73 and Betsy Busch, M.D., M75 photo
John Szlyk, M.D., M73 and Betsy Busch, M.D., M75
Heart icon matched a total of $2,500
Denyse Williamson photo
Sally Hewitt
generated 1 gift, totaling $100
Community Advocates photo
generated 167 clicks and 2 gifts, totaling $70