Higher Education in Prison

SUNY's Office of Higher Education in Prison (SUNY HEP) work contributes to our mission of providing “the people of New York educational services of the highest quality, with the broadest possible access”. At SUNY, we believe in educational equity for incarcerated New Yorkers and work to achieve fair and inclusive access for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons to quality higher education programs during incarceration and upon release into the community.

Thirteen SUNY campuses now offer credit-bearing coursework inside 21 New York State prisons, serving over 700 students, making SUNY the largest education provider within the statewide prison system. With robust community and nonprofit partnerships supporting our work, and strong relationships with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, The City University of New York, and other college campuses, SUNY aims to create and strengthen pathways that expand educational opportunities for students inside correctional facilities as well as those returning to their communities.

Our Vision

Our vision is to work with all 64 SUNY campuses, CUNY, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the New York prison education community, and the New York State Government to ensure equitable access to higher education in all New York's state prisons and support justice-involved individuals in their academic and professional endeavors during their incarceration and after release. Read more about SUNY's Vision of Educational Equity for Incarcerated New Yorkers.