The Prison Mathematics Project (aka the PMP) is a 501(c)(3) organization that was first conceptualized in early 2012 when a prisoner named Christopher Havens began studying mathematics for the very first time during his time in solitary confinement. A mix of isolation and the transformative powers of mathematics caused Christopher to undergo a steady chain of personal growth while igniting within him a passion for mathematics.
The PMP is the manifestation of Christopher’s vision to share the benefits of math mentorship with other incarcerated people.
The purpose of the PMP is to understand the role of mathematics in self-identity and desistance by connecting prisoners who are dedicated to change, to a community that exists around their interests in mathematics and to provide the necessary communal framework for rebuilding their lifestyle during this time of their incarceration.
The PMP’s mission is to develop a new understanding of the role of mathematics in self-identity and desistance among our participants by providing knowledge, instilling the idea of community and culture, and establishing network connections so that they can become empowered to self-rehabilitate through the engagement of mathematics. We nurture this engagement through active mentorship by members of the mathematical community which could lead to research and publication opportunities, and will continue after release, providing an easy transition for our participants to continue living their mathematical lifestyle in the community.
The PMP sees a world where desistance can be achieved through a community-based system of restorative justice, so that cognitive changes and the restructuring of one’s lifestyle occur as a result of mentor/participant dynamics.