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Class in Prison

Class in Prison

TJI Supports Educational Initiatives in Prison

  • We offer logistical support and encouragement for faculty who want to pursue teaching and learning in prison.
  • Reforming Criminal Justice is a course with half incarcerated individuals and half Willamette Students designed to be a reciprocal learning experience about the causes and consequences of mass incarceration.
  • Why Have Class in prison?

    “This class is so different from the ones I’ve taken at Willamette and experiences elsewhere because it is a community of learning unlike anything else. It asks each one of us to rid ourselves of the weights and baggage we carry to come together each Monday and get a fresh start. It asks us often to be open and vulnerable, an environment we are not always allowed to exist in. I had no idea what to expect going into this class and in all honesty I’m still processing a lot of it. I graduate in a week and a half and for the first time in a long time I won’t be going to school. That’s a different thing for me to process too. I am extremely appreciative of the time we spent together this semester and am incredibly thankful for being able to be a part of this community.” –Derek, ‘17

    “The Reforming Criminal Justice Class in Prison allows us to learn about the issues and topics we’re studying from people who are directly impacted by these issues and experiencing them firsthand. Not only are the men inside OSP vulnerable and willing to share their stories, but they’re also incredibly articulate and teach us just as much as our reading materials and class assignments do. Most importantly, most of us leave with a deeper understanding and a changed mindset on crime, people who have committed crimes, and the reasons why rates of imprisonment are so high in the U.S. The Prison Class for me ended the fear I had that people aren’t capable of change or remorse. The guys inside have done so much work on themselves and for their community, and I think many of my outside peers are grateful for all of the valuable life lessons they have taught us - not just the academic ones.” - Jazzy, ‘22

  • Syllabi
Willamette University

Department of Politics, Policy, Law and Ethics

Smullin Hall 3rd floor
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6293 voice
503-370-6720 fax