The Prison Mathematics Project (PMP) was first conceptualized in early 2012 when Christopher Havens, serving a 25 year sentence for murder, began studying mathematics during a year spent in solitary confinement. A combination of profound isolation and the awakening of an all-consuming fascination with number theory ignited in Christopher a passion for mathematics, which in turn caused a steady chain of personal transformations. His first experience of mentorship by members of the math community led him to a deep understanding of the power of connections to change lives.
The PMP is the manifestation of Christopher’s vision to share the benefits of math mentorship with other incarcerated people.
The PMP is a non-profit charitable organization with a 501(c)(3) registration.
We connect prisoners who are dedicated to change with mentors who support and encourage their interest in mathematics and help to provide the necessary communal framework for rebuilding their lives both during and after their incarceration.
We support the study of mathematics and its contribution to healthy self-identity and desistance from crime among our participants. We do this by providing mentorship that delivers support and knowledge, instills the idea of community and culture, and establishes network connections enabling participants to self-rehabilitate through their engagement with mathematics.
We nurture this engagement through active mentorship by members of the mathematical community, which continues after our participants are released and can lead to research and publication opportunities. Relationships with mentors ensure an easier transition back into the community for our participants who continue living their mathematical lifestyle.
We see a world where desistance can be achieved through a community-based system of restorative justice, supporting cognitive changes and the restructuring of participant’s lives occurring as a result of mentor/participant dynamics.