Prison Math Project

“I have been locked up for 18 years and have never heard of anything remotely like this.”
“Many times I, myself, – and I believe I speak for all self-educated learners in prison – will proceed down a subject of interest not knowing where to begin or what comes next, or if we lack any necessary background education to even understand what we’re studying. Many of us just desire guidance in our studies… someone to point the way.”
Extract of a letter received by our organization

Prison Mathematics Project

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.

Our Purpose

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

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.



Come see the high achievements are members have been awarded


Future of the PMP

Click here to learn what’s next with the Prison Mathematics Project


About the PMP

Interested in learning more about the PMP? Check out our backstory and ambitions