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Across the United States, communities, especially marginalized and low income communities, face challenges resulting from the “school-to-prison pipeline”—a continuum of conditions increasing the probability that people from such marginalized communities, particularly black men, will find themselves in prison rather than college.1 Dismantling this pipeline has become a significant national focus of advocates and policy makers. In New York City, a network has emerged in the last ten years to focus on building a new pipeline from criminal justice to college. This network focuses on rebuilding the lives of the over 70 thousand people who have fallen into the school-to-prison pipeline. These reentry organizations have identified higher education as a core strategy for reclaiming hope and possibility for people who have become enmeshed in the criminal justice system. This case study documents the strategies and systemic impacts of College Initiative (“CI”), an innovative organization focused on enabling people with criminal justice involvement to enter and succeed in higher education. CI, in collaboration with a larger reentry network, is building pathways of possibility from criminal justice into and through college.


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Higher Education | Law


Center for Institutional and Social Change