What is FEPPS?
Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS) provides a rigorous liberal arts college program to women, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people inside the main women’s prison in Washington state, and supports pathways to higher education and re-entry after release from prison. FEPPS began in 2012 from the persistence, determination, and desire to learn from people incarcerated at Washington Correctional Center for Women (WCCW), in Gig Harbor, WA.
FEPPS has 70 students working toward an A.A. or B.A. degree and offers three study halls per week, a film series, monthly lecture series, a monthly faculty and student reading group, and workshops for students. FEPPS has a Student Advisory Council of 15 students inside WCCW who meet regularly with staff to make program decisions, conduct teacher trainings, mentor new students and oversee new student orientation.
The BA in Liberal Studies
FEPPS had been a Signature Initiative of the university since 2015. In 2019, The Board of Trustees approved a B.A. degree in Liberal Studies for students in the prison, and we admitted the first class of 15 students in September 2020. The B.A. degree enables students who have completed the A.A. degree in the prison to apply to the University of Puget Sound as a transfer student and receive a B.A. in Liberal Studies while in prison. This is the seventh B.A. program offered in a women’s prison nationally, and the first B.A. program in a prison in Washington State.
We are supported by a 4-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.