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$250K grant provides laptops to incarcerated students at Wash. women’s facility

Inmates enrolled in courses at a local community college will be able to use the laptops while taking classes

By Rachel Friederich
Washington Dept. of Corrections Communications Office

GIG HARBOR, Wash. — The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to expand technology for students taking college classes at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

The grant will be used to purchase 100 new laptops for incarcerated students to use who are enrolled in Tacoma Community College (TCC) courses and classes taught through the Freedom Education Project of Puget Sound (FEPPS). Students would be able to use the laptops while enrolled in these classes. The grant will also help pay for two part-time staff to provide information technology support to integrate the use of laptops and teach incarcerated students to use them. Additionally, the grant will fund a needs assessment for and purchase of assistive technologies for incarcerated students with learning disabilities.

“This grant reflects the strong collaboration between the facility, TCC and FEPPS and it will allow us to do things we weren’t able to do before,” said FEPPS Executive Director Jennifer Bright. “It levels the playing field. It will allow us to be able to do more towards comparable education technologies and it will be a huge step forward to having the kinds of technological tools many of us take for granted on the outside.”

Full story: Bridging a technology gap: $250,000 grant provides laptops to incarcerated students at Washington Corrections Center for Women