Photo by Karl Clifton-Soderstrom, from North Park University’s program

IL-CHEP is a coalition of programs and educators dedicated to providing quality higher education opportunities for people who are incarcerated in Illinois. We strive to support our students as they build meaningful lives and prepare for a successful future in civic life.

Equally important, we encourage public dialogue and action to reduce our state’s and country’s reliance on incarceration.

COVID19 and Higher Education in Illinois Prisons

As of March, 2020, all prison higher education programs in the state have suspended programming in response to the CoronaVirus. We are uncertain when programs will resume. We will post updates on this website.

What can you do to support incarcerated students, prison education programs, and all who work and live in prisons at this time?

  • Support IL-CHEP’s effort to get sanitizer into IL prisons. We were asked by the Illinois Department of Corrections whether we could possibly supply this and we are doing our best, working with a Peoria brewery and seeking donations. Learn more and contribute here.
  • Sign onto our letter asking IL Governor J.P. Pritzker to undertake a review of our elderly and infirm jail and prison populations with an eye to immediate compassionate release for these individuals, in consideration of the CoronaVirus. Access the letter here.
  •  IL-CHEP welcomes all colleges and universities in the state of Illinois to join the commitment to open student housing to no more than twenty individuals who are currently incarcerated and whose lives are at risk because of it. Read the full statement here.

Please note that IL-CHEP’s April 22, 2020 meeting in Edwardsville, IL has been cancelled. Please stay tuned for the new date.

**Keep up with our response to the threat that COVID19 poses to individuals in prisons and jails through the Freedom to Learn IL blog.