Monday, December 7, 2009

Wait Listed by Jail-12

"In many ways it was just another day, another class of Wesleyan University, one of the more selective colleges in the Northeast. The topic was multiculturalism in schools. The discussion focused on methods of evaluating the rhetorical skills iof various commentators, from Arthur Schlesslinger Jr. to Dinesh D'Souza. ... Unlike other Wesleyan classes, though, each of the students--all men--had numbers like 271013 or 298331 on their khaki shirts. They were, in fact, inmates at the state prison here, [Cheshire, Connecticut] and all part of a daring, privately financed experiment in higher education that takes murderers and drug dealers and other inmates with histories of serious crime and gives them an opportunity to get an elite college education inside their high-security prison, the Cheshire Correctional Institution. Though community colleges and others, like Boston University, have long had inmate programs, the two-month-old Wesleyan program is one of the few in the country where the selection process is highly rigorous, where academic potential is the primary criterion and where past criminal conduct, however, heinous, is not considered in admission. Some 120 inmates applied at Cheshire for 19 spots in the program", Alison Cowan at the NYT, 16 November 2009, link:

Well Stanford? Your opportunity: recruit at San Quentin. Columbia, try Sing Sing; Northwestern, Joliet, etc., etc. Will Wesleyan include these 19 students SATs in its 1440 freshman average as US News reported? I wasn't kidding in my 28 June 2009 post:


Thai said...

Is your basic point you are for or against this?

And who pays for this?

I read the Bard prison program claims on its website that it's activities allow gainful employment for inmates released (at what cost/benefit ratio they fail to give) and yet it is paying for an inmate to take classes when he is serving a 50 year sentence.

This is a really difficult issue and I do not claim to have a right/wrong answer but I am not sure I see the dots lining up the way it is being advertised.

... I suspect you see this as well

Anonymous said...

I imagine that education for prisoners is like food for the starving.

Sitting around in prison thinking about the hopeless dead end upon release would make me a recidivist too.

Education can be a powerful stimulant for those who are motivated to change their lives.

Ubu said...

The first thing I realized about a modern liberal arts education is that is wasn't worth much--all the best scholars were long dead, and the library was the only solace from the lit-crit gibberish pouring out from every classroom. Paying $30k a year to use the library is a hardly a bargain; I'll send the inmates my editions of Harold C Goddard's essays along with my condolences at their misfortune.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a recruiting ground for Obama appointees

Anonymous said...

Brim over I assent to but I dream the brief should prepare more info then it has.