Yale Undergraduate Prison Project (YUPP)


Our Mission:

The Yale Undergraduate Prison Project (YUPP) is a student-run social justice organization with over 150 members. We believe that the discrimination and dehumanization driving the U.S. justice system is a product of white supremacy and structural racism. Our mission is to challenge the inequities of mass incarceration through service and advocacy, while learning from and supporting others who share that vision.

YUPP runs programs at correctional facilities and community reentry centers in Connecticut. Our GED tutoring, seminar-style discussion groups, and mentoring programs impact over a hundred incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals annually. In addition to the educational programs we run each week, members engage in advocacy and activism on a local, state, and national level. On campus, YUPP hosts a diverse group of speakers each semester from fields and disciplines that intersect with mass incarceration in order to promote dialogue and engage Yale and New Haven community members in this work.

Our Activities:

Connecting through Literacy (CLICC)
Direct Service
CLICC works to support the children of incarcerated people in strengthening their family ties. Yale students mentor children (ages 5-17) to encourage regular communication with their parents in correctional facilities, and to enhance literacy outcomes. Children pick out a book, and write letters back and forth with their parents about what they’ve been reading. Mentors support them through fun literacy activities, and by being a consistent, encouraging presence.

Debate Project
Direct Service
YUPP develops curriculum and lesson plans for debate programs in carceral institutions.

GED Tutoring
Direct Service
YUPP tutors formerly incarcerated individuals working to get their GED.

Pardon Program
Direct Service
YUPP works with Project Fresh Start to support formerly incarcerated residents with reintegrating into the New Haven community by aiding in pardon applications.

YUPP Community Speaker Events
Advocacy, or Activism
Speaker events with formerly incarcerated individuals, such as artists in the Justice Arts Coalition network, as well as speakers from Next Level Empowerment, speakers from organizations such as the Maryland Food and Abolition Prison Project

YUPP Meetings
Advocacy, or Activism
Club-wide YUPP meetings are meant to ground the group in the work that they do and raise awareness about new advocacy and direct service initiatives we are implementing as well as get updates from each group about their progress on projects. They are meant to help people from different direct service and advocacy groups to better understand (in a workshop-like setting) what the other does so that they can provide constructive feedback on how they can progress their work

WAMI Letter Writing Event
Advocacy, or Activism
YUPP, for two semesters now, has partnered with the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association in order to hold a joint speaker and letter-writing event with Women Against Mass Incarceration. Tiheba Bain, the founder of WAMI, comes to give a lecture about what WAMI does and how YUPP students can help, and YUPP students write letters to incarcerated individuals at York.

Criminal Justice Advocacy
Advocacy, or Activism
YUPP advocacy consists of 8 issue-specific advocacy groups that each partner with a local Connecticut and national organization to advocate for issues surrounding the criminal justice system. Direct actions include supporting legislative campaigns through canvassing and organizing awareness campaigns, as well as supporting research or day-to-day actions of partner organizations.

Student Leaders:

Victoria Chung - Co-Coordinator/Co-President Dina Garmroudi - Co-Coordinator/Co-President Ethan Fell - Co-Coordinator/Co-President

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