Nearly one out of every hundred people in the United States is incarcerated, making it the country with the most jailed population in the world. That’s a scary statistic, especially considering the school-to-prison pipeline and systemic injustice plaguing BIPOC communities. However, a small step forward is being made with San Quentin State offering a historic first; an accredited college experience for the prison population. Per AP News:
“Dressed in matching blue uniforms, the students only break from their discussion when a guard enters the classroom, calling out each man’s last name and waiting for them to reply with the last two digits of their inmate number. They are students at Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison, the first accredited junior college in the country based behind bars. Inmates can take classes in literature, astronomy, American government, precalculus and others to earn an Associate of Arts degree.
Named for a mountain near the prison, the college was accredited in January after a 19-member commission from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges determined the extension program based at San Quentin for more than two decades was providing high-quality education.
‘This is a profound step forward in prison education,’ said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, the umbrella organization for all U.S. higher education institutions. Mitchell said Mount Tamalpais College is ‘an extraordinary model’ that will give it autonomy not seen in prison programs attached to outside schools.”
Hopefully, this can be implemented across the country and give inmates access to more
opportunities upon release.
Latest posts by Desiree Martinez (see all)
- Broken Student Loan System Gets An Overhaul - June 6, 2022
- Cellblock Scholars: The First College Behind Bars - May 25, 2022
- Sin Preparación en la Universidad; Puntajes bajos debido a la Pandemia - April 27, 2022
- Unprepared in College; Sinking Scores Due to Pandemic - April 21, 2022
- Los Estudiantes No Se Inscriben en la Escuela Para Hacer una Declaración Política, Ellos Van a Aprender - October 29, 2018