Claflin University announces that Bank of America will invest $500,000 to support the University’s Center for Social Justice and the Pathways From Prison Program. The Pathways From Prison Program is a historic collaboration between Claflin and the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) that provides incarcerated individuals in South Carolina access to the University’s exceptional academic programs.
Incarcerated individuals that meet Claflin and SCDC requirements can earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, and organizational management. They can also earn minors and certificate credentials.
Bank of America's investment will support student scholarships and enhance technological resources such as laptops, keyboards, printers, routers, and wi-fi hotspots.Funding for the partnership will also be used to increase the number of qualified faculty and staff to ensure incarcerated students receive the same high-quality educational experience that has earned Claflin national recognition as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities.
“We are extremely grateful for Bank of America’s support for our Center for Social Justice and the Pathways From Prison Program. Research indicates a dramatic reduction in recidivism rates for incarcerated individuals who participate in prison education programs,” said Claflin President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, a 2019 USA Eisenhower Fellow. Warmack’s research during his fellowship explored global best practices for reducing mass incarceration through education and rehabilitation.
“Bank of America’s reputation as a global leader in banking and finance is widely recognized. This partnership amplifies their commitment to equality, equity, and expanding economic opportunities for diverse populations.”
“Education is a gateway to a better life,” said Kim Wilkerson, President, Bank of America South Carolina. “We appreciate Claflin University’s leadership and recognize the success and progress made through the Pathways From Prison Program. Issues of racial equality and economic opportunity are deeply connected, and it’s important to remove the barriers to success and focus on areas where systemic, long-term gaps have existed.”
The Pathways From Prison Program was established through the Second Chance Pell Grant Pilot Program, a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) initiative. The grant provides need-based Federal Pell Grants to individuals incarcerated in federal and state prisons. Claflin University was the only historically black college/university (HBCU) in South Carolina among 67 colleges and universities nationwide selected for the program.