Joshua Dubler is an associate professor in the Department of Religion and Classics, where he is presently also the Interim Chair. He is author of Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison (FSG, 2013) and co-author of Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons (Oxford University Press, 2019). With Precious Bedell, he teaches "Incarceration Nation," an abolitionist history of imprisonment in the United States, and with Kristin Doughty, he teaches "the Cultural Politics of Prison Towns," an ethnography lab that explores the carceral geography of the Rochester region. He oversees program development and strategic planning for REJI and serves as P.I. on the program’s grants.
email@example.com | (585) 275-4756
Eitan Freedenberg oversees day-to-day logistics and strategic planning for REJI's college programs at Attica, Groveland, and Wyoming. He works within the University on faculty recruitment, hiring, and training; curriculum development; grant management; and collaborations with other departments and programs. He serves REJI's students as their primary academic advisor. Additionally, he works with partners at SUNY, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and peer college-in-prison programs to ensure that students have the resources they need to pursue and complete their degrees. He earned his PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester in 2020. In 2023, he was the recipient of UR’s Meliora Award, which “honors a staff member whose work performance exemplifies the University’s motto, Meliora – ever better.”
firstname.lastname@example.org | (585) 210-3618
Assistant Director of Community Outreach
Precious Bedell is a specialist in providing resources to and helping those reentering from prisons and jails on how to navigate complex medical, social, and reentry services. She works with formerly incarcerated individuals to overcome obstacles related to housing, employment, health insurance, and family reunification and support. She oversees REJI's Justice Scholars program, recruiting annual cohorts of formerly incarcerated students in the community to pursue further higher education. She works with community stakeholders to build relationships that bring REJI's vision and mission to fruition. She also co-teaches the undergraduate course "Incarceration Nation" with Joshua Dubler, bringing local and state advocates for prison reform and decarceration to campus to share their work with Rochester's undergraduate population. She is an activist with major campaigns to free vulnerable incarcerated people during the pandemic.
email@example.com | (585) 435-1247
Rayna Mandara (they/she) joined REJI in 2020. They are responsible for coordinating extracurricular activities at REJI’s program sites and external partnerships with facilities such as Monroe County Jail. They assist with semesterly upkeep, course enrollment, and communication between the program’s administrators, instructors, and students. Rayna has a continuous vested interest in facilitating environments in which individuals can connect through thoughtful discussion and collaboration.
Thomas Gant is an accomplished writer, speaker, and facilitator. He is a returning citizen after serving 25 years of incarceration. During that time, he spent 16 years at Attica Correctional Facility, where he earned an associate degree from SUNY Genesee Community College, worked as a peer mentor and facilitator, and was featured in the documentary Encountering Attica and the podcast "Unforbidden Truth." In 2020, he published an essay in the Marshall Project about his work as a prison hospice aide during the Covid pandemic. He is a lifelong learner with a passion for helping people who are transitioning from incarceration back into communities. As REJI's reentry coordinator, he provides reentry support to REJI college program students, links people returning from prisons and jails to health and social services, and mentors formerly incarcerated individuals pursuing higher education in the Rochester area.
firstname.lastname@example.org | (585) 705-9778
Director, Campus and Community Engagement
Kristin Doughty is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Rochester. She has taught Introduction to Cultural Anthropology in Attica, Groveland, Albion, and Five Points. She is the author of Remediation in Rwanda (U Penn Press, 2016). She is PI with Joshua Dubler on a National Science Foundation grant that supports ethnographic research into the carceral geography of the Rochester region, in conjunction with an undergraduate course, the Cultural Politics of Prison Towns. In her role with REJI, she provides support for reentry programs, including the Justice Scholars and the Alumni Reentry Support Fund.
Director, Bachelor's Degree Program at Attica
Alison Peterman helps to administer the Rochester curriculum at Attica and to support incarcerated students pursuing the University of Rochester BA. She is an associate professor in and co-chair of the Department of Philosophy, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She teaches with REJI often. Her research is in the history of philosophy, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind, and she is currently finishing up a book on the great 17th-century philosopher Margaret Cavendish.
Director, Regional Initiatives
Ed Wiltse is a Professor of English and Communication at Nazareth College. He founded and directs the Jail Project, a collaboration between Nazareth and the Monroe County Jail, which over the last twenty years has facilitated meaningful intellectual exchanges between Nazareth students and incarcerated men and women. He has taught college-in-prison courses at Albion, Groveland, and Auburn.
Past Instructors (2015–present)
|Solveiga Armoskaite||Alexander Kotelsky|
|Joel Burges||Marianne Kupin-Lisbin|
|Carlos Carrillo||Youngchae Lee|
|Jerome Dent||Anne Merideth|
|Kristin Doughty||Anusha Naganathan|
|Jack Downey||Trevor Nelson|
|Brady Fletcher||Rachel O'Donnell|
|Eitan Freedenberg||Alison Peterman|
|Robin Frye||Dillon Ramsey|
|Ana Goméz Parga||James Rankine|
|R. Michael Gosselin||Jarod Sickler|
|Murat Guner||Allen Topolski|
|Kristin Hocker||Ed Wiltse|
|David Holloway||Sara Vacin|