Global Initiatives

Expanding Capacity and Building a Community of Practice Internationally

map of the world with cities from global community of practice highlighted.

In 2022, BPI expanded its programmatic support internationally with a call for proposals for capacity-building grants for programs outside of the United States. We received a tremendous response, with interest from educators around the world. In July, BPI issued 13 grants to new and existing international programs and began growing a larger community of practice with 21 programs across 14 nations and six continents, including educators from Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, and beyond.

In the global landscape, our work is informed by the foundational understanding that local educators are the experts. Capacity-building grants boost local practitioners’ ability to design, implement, and grow a diverse range of educational endeavors in carceral spaces based on their specific needs and contexts. In expanding access to badly needed resources, BPI has started to build a global community of practice that practices community — rooted in sharing knowledge and experiences and coming together in community. Upon its launch, 21 international programs across 14 nations and 6 continents made up the initial global community of practice. This community will come together with convenings in person, and through virtual webinars, communications, and a lecture series led by the inaugural Global Research Fellow over the course of the 2022–2023 academic year.

Summer Residency Attendees at Bard College Campus

“Correctional systems across the globe are plagued with similar stories of disenfranchisement, social exclusion, and hopelessness. I see education as a gateway to equity – and it fosters critical consciousness necessary for self-liberation and true freedom.”

Shanell Bailey, Prison to College Pipeline, Jamaica


Headshot of Dr. Baz Dreisinger

Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives

BPI’s expansion of program building and community of practice work beyond the United States has benefited from the deep subject matter expertise of BPI Senior Advisor for Global Initatives, Dr. Baz Dreisinger, Founding Executive Director of Incarceration Nations Network.

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Global Research Fellowship

Ramiro Gual was named BPI’s inaugural Global Research Fellow for the 2022–2023 academic year. Based in Buenos Aires, Ramiro joined the 2022 BPI Summer Residency and went on to produce three original pieces of scholarship related to the history and circumstances of educational opportunities in Argentine prisons where universities have been operating for decades during the course of his fellowship with BPI. Ramiro also organized and launched the first year of BPI’s Global Virtual Lecture Series, bringing together leading international scholars and practitioners who work in fields related to education in prison in the international or transnational context. Ramiro is a Ph.D. candidate at National University of Litoral in Argentina where he also earned a Master’s Degree in Criminology. He holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires.

Ramiro Gual headshot.

Capacity Building Grants


In 2022, BPI has awarded nearly a dozen capacity-building grants to both new and existing higher education in prison projects outside of the United States including in Argentina, South Africa, Jamaica, Brazil, Italy, and Mexico.

Grants — issued with the support of the Open Society University Network (OSUN) and in partnership with Incarceration Nations Network (INN) — will help new projects launch and boost the ability of existing programs to offer college access with investments in technology, books, and materials, programmatic infrastructure, research, and personnel.

Summer Residency

Summer Residency Attendees at Bard College Campus

BPI launched the BPI Summer Residency program in 2019 to deepen and expand our ability to offer technical assistance to the growing field of college-in-prison. The BPI Summer Residency is a two-week sequence of immersive workshops on Bard’s Annandale campus in the Hudson Valley, led by BPI staff subject matter experts. This experience is designed to provide emerging practitioners with hands-on training and to facilitate a broader community of practice among participating college-in-prison educators from across the country and now internationally, representing a broad diversity of institutions of higher education.

By The Numbers

The number of international partners across 14 nations in a global community of practice.
The number of grants going to international partners.
The range of grants.
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