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Founded in 2009, YUPP began as a criminal justice reading group for Yale students to educate themselves about the system of mass incarceration and to increase dialogue around the topic on campus. Shortly after the reading group was started, Yale students decided that they wanted to do more than just read about the issues: they wanted to be a part of the solution. As a result, in 2010, YUPP began the Manson Prison Education Initiative, an undergraduate organization that sought to provide incarcerated young men in the Manson Youth Correctional Facility with greater access to educational programming—particularly GED preparation. Over the past several years, Yale Undergraduate Prison Project has expanded to become an umbrella organization that encompasses all prison activism, advocacy, and reform efforts among the Yale student body.

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