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March 31, 2015


Alisha Rosas
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
(909) 652-6115               

For Immediate Release


(Rancho Cucamonga, CA) – Chaffey College officials proudly announce that the college is a recipient of The Opportunity Institute’s Renewing Communities Initiative grant. Chaffey College will receive $140,000 to implement a program for incarcerated individuals at the California Institution for Men (Chino) based on the college’s already successful program at the women’s facility.

The Chaffey College California Institution for Women (CIW) program began in 2005 through the vision of Warden Dawn Davison, Chaffey College faculty Christine Flores, and administrators Laura Hope and Dr. Sherrie Guerrero.

“This program has gone through its challenges, but persevered,” said Laura Hope, Dean of Instructional Support. “The winners are the students.”

The first graduating class completed the program in March 2008. The program's focus follows that of the community college system, "Redeeming lives through education." Students in this program are selected by the CIW warden and representatives in the institution. To date, 2,317 women have participated in the program with over 60 completing degrees and certificates. In 10 years, only one student has been re-incarcerated (a .04% compared to the statewide 48.9% rate).

“Chaffey’s current prison program is built on a legacy of engaging instruction, dynamic support, and the strong belief that our students can accomplish anything if we create the right conditions for them to learn,” said Hope. “The Chaffey Program at CIW is distinguished by the level of campus support it enjoys by faculty, administration, staff, and the Governing Board.”

“Chaffey College’s program at CIW is one of our greatest success stories. Through our partnership with the prison, we have been able to improve the lives of over 2,300 women in the last decade,” stated Dr. Henry Shannon, Chaffey College Superintendent/President. “By providing quality educational opportunities and support services, these women are able to obtain jobs or continue their higher education once released. This means a better quality of life for them and their families, as well an improvement for our community as a whole.”

The existing Chaffey College program, which has worked within the community college system for an unprecedented 10 years, can be a model for other community colleges located near the state’s 35 prisons. Chaffey’s program in the CIW is one of the only programs entirely focused on the completion of a marketable associate’s degree. Additionally, the program is the only program focused on female inmates and provides high levels of support through the Chaffey College Success Center, established on site in the prison, which provides student inmates with access to tutoring, workshops, and directed learning activities. The Opportunity Institute grant will allow the college to implement a similar program at the men’s institution in Chino. A large portion of the staffing for the new program will come from state apportionment.

The Opportunity Institute awarded seven grants to support college education for currently and formerly incarcerated Californians enrolled in California Community Colleges and the California State University. The awardees will receive a combined total of $5.9 million over three years to provide high-quality, in-person courses to students inside prisons and jails and to help formerly incarcerated students on college campuses transform their lives. The Renewing Communities project is a joint initiative of The Opportunity Institute and the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.

Renewing Communities is supported by nine state and national foundations, including The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, Roy & Patricia Disney Family Foundation, ECMC Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Rosenberg Foundation. The initiative is based on 18 months of research, stakeholder input, and outreach conducted by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center and the Warren Institute at Berkeley Law, memorialized in Degrees of Freedom: Expanding College Opportunities for Currently and Formerly Incarcerated Californians (2015). Renewing Communities is adapted from the Vera Institute of Justice's Pathways from Prison to
Post-Secondary Education Project.

The Opportunity Institute is a non-profit organization that promotes social mobility and equity by improving outcomes from early childhood through early career. We focus on education, which plays a critical role in opening opportunities, and the related social policies that make true educational opportunity possible. For more information, please visit

The Stanford Criminal Justice Center is based at Stanford Law School and serves as a research and policy institute on issues related to the criminal justice system. Its efforts are geared toward both generating policy research for the public sector, as well as providing pedagogical opportunities to Stanford Law School students with academic or career interests in criminal law and crime policy. For more information, please visit

Established in 1883, Chaffey College was one of the first colleges to be established in California and offers associate degrees, as well as vocational and transfer programs in a wide variety of subjects. Courses are offered at campuses in Rancho Cucamonga, Chino, and Fontana, as well as online through the Distance Education program. For general information about the college, please visit

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