Team Member

Patrick Rodriguez

Message Patrick Rodriguez

Patrick Rodriguez

Patrick was released from prison in December 2019, and since then, he has worked to serve those who have been impacted by the prison system. Working as both the Co-Executive Director for the Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison and the Director of Special Projects for Common Good Atlanta, he has learned what it takes to implement prison college-accredited programs and support formerly incarcerated students who are seeking to navigate the university space. While thinking of ways to push legislation and policy, Patrick has been accepted to the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials’ Institute for Leadership. This is so that he can understand the intersection of Latino people and the political system and how to advocate for more prison education programs. Patrick is currently majoring in organizational and professional communication at Kennesaw State University and will be attending graduate school in fall 2022.

Interests at the intersection of higher education and the criminal legal system

“I am seeking to better understanding how our educational system plays a role in perpetuating the prison system, specifically the school-to-prison pipeline. How do HEP programs play a role in re-entry? How do we begin better understanding the value to which others receive by the participants of the HEP programs on a greater level? I love the Rosenthal effect, which is basically if you hold someone to a higher standard, they will meet that standard. I think about how HEP programs hold incarcerated people to a higher standard and in doing so, does this increase the students’ chance to re-entering society successfully? After looking at success rates with HEP programs and re-entry, what are other ways that higher standards can be implemented? This is what I’d like to explore.

Expectations or goals for the Fellowship?

I expect to learn how to lead in an intentional way from both my peers and others around the country who are focused on Higher Education in Prison. I looking forward to garnering the skills necessary to write policy and also learn how to successfully implement that policy. Lastly, to better understand how to successfully help those who are incarcerated take full advantage of the Pell Grant reinstatement.