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.

Dutchess County - Starting Spring 2018

Fishkill Correctional Facility and Green Haven Correctional Facilities are New York state prisons in Dutchess County. We will be working with the facilities' education departments to provide tutoring for GED, 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.

Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn

MDC Brooklyn is a federal administrative detention facility. We work closely with the facility's Education Department to support their students. Tutors provide supplemental one-on-one support for men in GED, pre-GED (9th grade and below), and ESL classes. Tutoring times are Monday through Friday, 8-10AM and 1:00-3:00PM and Monday 6-8PM. In order to volunteer at MDC Brooklyn, you must be at least 21 years old.

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 four of the Passages facilities, at the following times:

  • Crossroads (Brooklyn): Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3:30-5:00PM
  • Horizon (Bronx): Monday and Wednesday from 3PM-5PM
  • South Ozone (Queens): Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9AM-12PM

Volunteers at Passages Academy must be at least 18 years old.

Rikers Island

Rikers Island is a complex made up of multiple jails. We work in six of them, supporting adolescents and young adults, both male and female, who are enrolled in high school or college courses. We have four programs at Rikers: High school, the Inside-Out Program, Housing Unit tutoring, and Adult Programming.

The High School courses on Rikers are run by the New York City Department of Education. Tutors work in the school classrooms Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the school day (8AM-3PM).

The Inside-Out Program is an international program started at Temple University in the late 1990s. In the program, college professors get certified from Temple University. Following certification, professors host weekly seminars with a group of "outside" students, taking the class inside a correctional facility alongside "inside" students. We support the partnership between St. John's University, Manhattan College, and the DOC by recruiting Teaching Assistants to run recitations and writing labs during the weekday, from 3-6PM

Housing Unit tutoring is reserved for volunteers with experience working in correctional facilities or with under-served populations. These opportunities take place during late afternoon, evening, and weekend hours.

Adult Programming is a pilot program starting at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island. The students are pre-trial men working towards passing the TASC. Tutors who specialize in math/science or English/history are needed on Monday from 4:30-6:30PM.

If you are interested in volunteering at Rikers, please indicate in your application which program(s) you would like to apply for. To interview for one of these programs, you must have availability corresponding to the availability indicated above, be at least 18 years old, and have a Social Security number.

Sing Sing Correctional Facility - Starting Spring 2018

Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison in Ossining, NY, operated by the New York State Department of Corrections. We are recruiting tutors to work with Hudson Link's pre-college math and writing courses. These courses prepare students to take the exams necessary to enroll in the prestigious college program at Sing Sing. Tutoring sessions are on Friday afternoons from 12:30-3:20 PM, and tutors must be 21 years of age or older.


Taconic Correctional Facility is a New York State correctional facility for women, located in Westchester County, New York. Our volunteers work with Hudson Link to support students enrolled in college preparatory and college-level courses. We are currently recruiting college writing tutors. Tutoring sessions follow a study hall format and are held on weekday evenings (6-8 PM). These positions are only open to volunteers who have completed a Bachelor's degree and who have applicable tutoring and/or professional experience. Tutors must also be at least 21 years old and have a Social Security Number.


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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