An estimated 65% of all jobs require postsecondary education, but many people in Florida have limited access to higher education, despite the fact that statistical evidence overwhelmingly confirms that a college education increases employment opportunities and strengthens communities.

Since its founding in 2017, the Florida Prison Education Project has offered 50 classes to 750 incarcerated students at 6 different facilities and donated over 30,000 books to libraries in Florida prisons. FPEP also offers an annual $1,000 scholarship to a non-incarcerated UCF student who is formerly incarcerated or system impacted.

The Florida Prison Education Project

Designated a UCF Community Challenge Initiative in 2018
Awarded a $50,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant in 2019
Awarded $60,000 in NEA Big Read grants between 2018 and 2023
Awarded $280,000 from the Laughing Gull Foundation between 2019 and 2023
Check out UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities 2019 Spotlight, featuring FPEP

Art and Incarceration : A Panel Discussion

As part of Second Chance Monthy, on April 15, 2023, FPEP hosted a one-hour panel discussion featuring Baz Dreisinger, Executive Director of Incarceration Nations Network and author of Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World, David Gussak, Florida State University Professor of Art Therapy and author of Art and Art Therapy with the Imprisoned: Re-Creating Identity, Curt L. Tofteland, founder of the internationally-acclaimed program Shakespeare Behind Bars, and Omari Booker, a formerly incarcerated professional artist. Speaking from their diverse positions as an English professor, an art therapist, a theatre practitioner, and a practicing visual artist, they discussed the value of arts-based prison education. Topics covered during the discussion will include art and incarceration across the world, visual art as therapy, Shakespeare as a transformative force, and painting as an expression of freedom.

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this event do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Books Behind Bars

Donate your unwanted books (of any kind) to the Florida Prison Education Project. Contact Jason Fronczek.

Mailing Address:
UCF Florida Prison Education Project
Attn: Jason Fronczek
12400 Aquarius Agora Dr.
Orlando, FL 32816

Our program does the following with your donations:  First, books are sorted and assessed. If they are suitable, desired, and cleared by the Florida Department of Corrections, they are donated to libraries in Florida prisons. If there are multiple copies of a single title, they are used as textbooks for FPEP course offerings. If the donated books cannot be donated to the FDC or used as course materials, they are sold to raise money for the program. 100% of the proceeds go towards the program to benefit the incarcerated students.

Thank you for your donations.