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Prison Education: Virtual Reality Setting Up Good Life Decisions

Dr. Turner Nashe discusses immersive technology benefits

computer keyboard and lock04/15/2017 | San Francisco, CA | MSN

Convicts at San Quentin are learning to code — and some land jobs in tech when they get out

Michael Newberg | MSN | Twitter

Walking through the yard at California’s historic San Quentin State Prison, the oldest in the state, it’s difficult to keep movie clichés from popping into one’s head.

Surrounded by high barbed-wire-topped walls and amidst groups of men playing basketball and doing push-ups under a blue sky, a line from the quintessential 1994 film “The Shawshank Redemption” came to mind. In the film, Tim Robbins’ character Andy Dufresne, falsely imprisoned for murder, extols the virtue of hope upon his prison pal Red, played by Morgan Freeman. “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

For a select group of motivated inmates at San Quentin, located just outside of San Francisco, hope comes in the form of an intrepid non-profit called The Last Mile, which is teaching convicts how to code and working with Silicon Valley companies to give hardened criminals a shot at success once they’re released.

To read more visit MSN

graphic bars and books 02/22/2017 | Dearborn, MI | Huffington Post

From Ex-Prisoner to Professor and Prison Reform Advocate

Christopher Zoukis | Huffington Post | Twitter

It’s easy to think only of the crimes committed when words like “offender,” “incarceration” or “prisoner” come up. But we should remember that many offenders in our system of incarceration will be released each year, hoping to become functioning and productive members of society. With support and rehabilitation, these individuals can become more than just their past crimes. They might even become role models and pillars of their communities.

One such example is Aaron Kinzel. Growing up surrounded by crime, in his late teens — when he should have been graduating high school — he was imprisoned for 10 years after a serious confrontation with law enforcement while on probation. He fired at an officer and led law enforcement in a high-speed chase and overnight manhunt, ending in his arrest.

Flash forward to today, and Kinzel’s life is completely different. After earning three degrees, he is now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, in the College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, focusing his work on criminal justice reform and education for offenders. By focusing on education, mentoring and deterrence, his aims are to eliminate criminal behavior. He also teaches classes for the Criminal Justice Studies program, where students appreciate his real life experience and frank and meaningful discussions in class.

To read more visit The Huffington Post

book old key 04/18/2017 | Seattle, WA | The Seattle Times

Educating prisoners pays off

Editorial Team | The Seattle Times | Twitter

Two decades ago, in the midst of a crime wave, the state Legislature ended postsecondary education for prisoners. In retrospect, it is clear the decision was shortsighted and ignored rock-solid research showing education behind bars effectively prepares inmates never to return.

The Legislature has finally changed course, lifting a 1995 law that banned state funding from being used for college courses in prisons. It is not a full reversal; classes are limited to two-year degrees, but it is a welcome step. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee, who strongly supports lifting the ban.

Washington lawmakers were inching this way already. Private philanthropic funding has paid for college-level courses at the state prisons in Monroe and Walla Walla since 2007, and last year lawmakers allowed a broader pilot program.

To read more visit The Seattle Times

Further Reading
  1. Prison Studies Project – Why Prison Education?
  2. Yale Daily News – YPEI plans inmate teaching program
  3. TODAY – Prisons tap technology for tailored rehab efforts

This post includes mentions of a partner of MindRocket Media Group the parent company of edCircuit

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