Annie Freitas, Program Director, Founding Member


Originally from Oakland, California, Annie has lived in New Orleans since 2011. Annie received her B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, CA where she double majored in Psychology and Theater. In college, she spent her time teaching writing and theater in correctional facilities for women and children and developing college preparatory courses for her former high school. Upon graduation, Annie moved to New Orleans and worked for four years as a teacher in Orleans and Jefferson Parish.

In addition to her work with LPEC, Annie is a Ph.D. student in Tulane University’s City, Culture, and Community program. Her current research focuses on higher education in prison and she is interested in developing and evaluating accredited college programs for prisons in Louisiana through participatory action research with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.


Rhiannon Dowling, Program Director, Founding Member


Rhiannon is a founding member and a co-program director of the Louisiana Prison Education Coalition(LPEC). In addition to her work with LPEC, Rhiannon is completing her dissertation in the History Department of the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation, entitled “Brezhnev’s War on Crime: The Criminal in Soviet Society, 1963-1982,” is a social history of criminal justice in the late Soviet Union, studying the effects of the state’s changing approaches to crime and punishment on the ideological and political loyalty and identities of the population.