The Petey Greene Program has been active in New York since the Fall of 2014. We recruit, train and coordinate volunteers to serve as academic tutors and Teaching Assistants at five different correctional facilities in the area, recruiting undergraduate and graduate students from Columbia University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York University, and from the wider community. This page is intended for potential tutors who are interested in learning more about our volunteer opportunities and, if appropriate, applying to participate in them.

Volunteer commitment

The volunteer opportunity is a weekly commitment, with tutoring sessions typically lasting 2 hours, sustained for at least one academic year (September-June). Consistency is crucial for our students' academic success and is something that sets us apart from other volunteering programs. As such, volunteers are required to tutor weekly throughout the academic semester, with the exception of academic breaks and exam periods.


There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available within our program in New York. They involve different correctional facilities and educational programs, and have different eligibility requirements. 

correctional facilities

The interactive map below shows the various correctional facilities which we are active at in New York and in the surrounding area. Click on the various map points for more information.

Rikers Island

Rikers Island is a complex made up of multiple jails. We work regularly in three of the eight jails: GRVC, EMTC, and RMSC, supporting young adults and adults, both male and female, who are enrolled in TASC (GED) Prep, pre-college or college courses. To volunteer at Rikers, you must be at least 18 years old, and have a Social Security number.

The Vernon C. Bain Center

VCBC in the Bronx is the only active prison barge in the country. We support students there who are studying to take the TASC (GED) exam. These sessions take place on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays from 9 AM- 12 PM.

Dutchess and Ulster Counties -

Fishkill Correctional Facility and Wallkill Correctional Facilities are New York state prisons in Dutchess County. We will be working with the facilities' education departments to provide tutoring for GED (TASC), Adult Basic Education, and Bilingual Education classes. Tutoring times are flexible, but will likely take place weekday afternoons or evenings. Volunteers 21 years of age or older are preferred.

Passages Academy

Passages Academy is a New York City Department of Education school that provides educational services to students in detention or placement settings. The students are ages 16 and younger and receive middle school and high school instruction. We are currently seeking tutors for Passages Academy: South Ozone to tutor in the fall on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays from 9 AM- 12 PM.


Thank you for your interest in tutoring with the Petey Greene Program. Our application consists of an online form which is at the bottom of this page. We will then select applicants for an in-person interview, before making our final decision.

Because of the sensitive nature of the work we do, we want to be sure we provide all of our applicants in advance as much information as possible, so that they can make an informed decision to participate. Please read through the following items below before applying:

  1. The process of becoming a tutor is selective.  We are looking for individuals who have a passion for education and a commitment to social justice. It is also important that our volunteers are able to deal with the challenges of working within a correctional facility and are able to adapt to unexpected circumstances throughout their time with us.

  2. The Petey Greene Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, status as a U.S. veteran or criminal record.

  3. All tutoring is done on a volunteer basis and no tutors are paid by the Petey Greene Program for their work. If you are looking for a community service opportunity for student aid, the Petey Greene program welcomes your application.

  4. All tutors will be required to pass a background check to enter the correctional facilities to tutor students. The Petey Greene Program does not control the background verification process and cannot guarantee that you’ll be approved, or how quickly you'll be approved (clearance time ranges from 1 to 3 months). 

  5. The Petey Greene Program expects that you will honor your commitment to tutoring and attend a tutoring session once a week through the academic year, excluding exam periods and academic breaks. If you feel that your schedule might prevent you from honoring your commitment, you may want to consider applying at another time.

  6. We will reimburse transportation to and from the correctional facilities by car or by public transport, from within New York City's five boroughs or as otherwise agreed.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at

You are also welcome to sign up to our mailing list below in order to keep up to date with new volunteer opportunities.

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