Georgetown offers bachelor’s degree program to Maryland prison inmates

Prison inmates in Maryland will soon be offered a chance to get a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

It’s an expansion of the Georgetown Prison Scholars Program, which offers for-credit and no-credit courses to inmates at the D.C. Jail since 2018.

According to a news release, the new program will start in the next academic year, and offer liberal arts degrees to 25 individuals.

“A degree from Georgetown and the interdisciplinary coursework behind it will prepare our graduates to reenter their communities and the workforce with pride in their academic achievements,” Georgetown’s Prisons and Justice Initiative Director Marc Howard said in a statement.

Inmates from all across the Maryland prison system — who have at least a high school diploma or GED diploma — will be able to compete for one of the slots.

Those who are chosen will be able to pick one of three majors: Cultural humanities, interdisciplinary social science or global intellectual history.

The degrees are expected to take five years to complete. Classes will be taught by Georgetown faculty at the Patuxent Institution, which is a prison in Jessup.

The expansion is funded by a $1 million, three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is supported by Georgetown alumnus Damien Dwin. More than 150 people have participated in the D.C. Jail’s Prison Scholars Program, the release said.

Information about the program, including an inmate’s testimonial, can be found in their announcement video.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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