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July 21, 2008

CNN coverage of San Quentin's Prison University Project

CNN has this upbeat story about education efforts in one of California's most famous prisons.  Here are snippets:

Lt. Sam Robinson, a 27-year veteran of San Quentin, gave a tour of 27 vocational programs run by about 3,000 volunteers as part of the Prison University Project, a nonprofit education program that offers many black men an opportunity to earn an associate of arts degree. It helps give those eligible for parole the intellectual tools to compete in a vastly changing job market.

Advocates say that many black men imprisoned across America, particularly nonviolent drug-related offenders, have enormous potential to become productive, law-abiding members of society through higher education in prison.

University of California at Berkeley professor Rebecca Carter volunteers as a biology instructor at San Quentin. During her first semester, she was startled by what she discovered. "I've been teaching on the Cal campus and teaching at the prison at the same time, and they were significantly more engaged when I was in the prison," Carter told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.  "Not always more in command with the subject matter but more engaged, doing the homework, asking questions because they were passionate about learning."

July 21, 2008 at 07:48 AM | Permalink


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Posted by: GabriellaWardwbgik | Jul 21, 2008 8:14:21 AM

Projects like this can really make a difference, and while they may not help a politician boost his/her crime statistics, it treats inmates like people. Minorities make up far too much of the prison population, and it's time the each state and city took up the challenge of treating the accused as innocent until proven guilty and worthy of some investment.

Posted by: JT | Jul 21, 2008 10:59:26 AM

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