Deciding to pursue higher education can be a difficult choice for anyone, particularly for people who have been involved with the criminal justice system. It’s increasingly important that everyone has the same access to education because it can help transform people’s lives, especially after they’ve been away, by helping them reenter their communities. While there are options for incarcerated and recently incarcerated people to access to higher education, the process can be uninviting and complicated–with very few resources explaining it and a lot of misinformation.  

CUP collaborated with the Prisoner Reentry Institute and designer Miles Barretto to create Is College For Me?, a pocket-sized foldout that demystifies and breaks down the process of enrolling in college. The colorful foldout explains the various types of degrees, types of schools, and resources. It also breaks down the steps one can take both while in still in prison and after coming home.

Is College For Me? will launch at a back-to-school workshop for new and returning students enrolled in PRI’s Educational Initiatives program. PRI is distributing over 3,000 copies to its community members and network of partners in prisons across New York State.

Resources & Links

Prisoner Reentry Institute provides opportunities for people to live successfully in the community after involvement with the justice system. They create pathways for college and career success, and our research and advocacy work towards policy change that puts people and communities first. They believe in second chances, lifelong learning, and community.

Miles Barretto is a graphic designer based in New York. Through his design, he engages in topics that tackle various social and cultural issues.

Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the people most affected by them.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Members Board Lander, Carlos Menchaca, and Antonio Reynoso.

Special Thanks

Christine Gaspar, Ingrid Haftel, Frampton Tolbert, Silviano Christman, Leslie, Richard Thomas, Kenneth Rivera, Alex Noes, Emmerson Bastien, Jason Glass, Jonathan Molina, Manuel Nuñez, and all others that provided feedback on the project.


  • CUP
  • Oscar Nuñez
  • Nick Johnson
  • Prisoner Reentry Institute
  • Advocacy Partner
  • Carlos Quintana
  • Nicole Dreisbach
  • Bianca van Heydoorn
  • Shameeka Mattis
  • Design
  • Miles Barretto