Writing assignment

Module 3: Programming & Education



1) Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division, Rehabilitation Programs Division: https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/divisions/rpd/index.html

Windham School District, serving Texas state prisoners: https://www.wsdtx.org/

Windham School District: https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/connections/MarApr2011/bulletin_vol18no4.html


2) Four-part docuseries “Ken Burns Presents: College Behind Bars” (each part is approx. 60 minutes). The series is found in the UHD Library using Kanopy. To access Kanopy, go to the UHD Library. Open the Databases link on the left-hand side. Go to Databases by Type, open Video, and then open Kanopy. Type in the title of the docuseries in the Search Box at the top of the page.


This docuseries is FABULOUS. Make sure you make the time to watch it as opposed to having it play in the background while you are doing something else (I have been a student, I know…..)!


ASSIGNMENT FOR MODULE 3 (maximum points 40)

I focused on education for this module, specifically college education, because it is a controversial issue. I chose this docuseries because students not only learn about a prison college program, the series also shows a great deal about living in prison. I also love this series because the students talk about the value of an education as much as, or more than, they talk about the value of a degree.


There is much to learn about other prison programs that this module does not address. There is important research that evaluates the effectiveness of specific prison programs, such as substance abuse treatment, anger management, cognitive behavior, faith-based, including educational and vocational programs. Those studies look at whether programs help reduce recidivism as well as disciplinary problems during incarceration. UHD offers an undergraduate course, CJ 4305 Evidence-Based Corrections, which explores correctional programming. I recommend it!


Question 1

Setting aside the prisoners’ college experience that the series covers, for Question 1 focus instead on different aspects of life in prison that you learned about while watching the series. The series was “bigger” than the issue of higher education for prisoners. To some degree, it let viewers inside everyday prison life. Discuss what TWO specific aspects of prison life that most caught your attention. Be specific and let me know you watched the films! Write 2 substantial paragraphs.


Question 2

Attending college in prison has challenges that free world college students do not face. Discuss specific examples of challenges that the Bard students experienced in the docuseries in 3 substantial paragraphs.


Question 3

What is your opinion about making college available to prisoners? Who should foot the tuition bill? Explain your answer in 2 substantial paragraphs.

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