I'm an English Professor at UMass Boston who volunteered to teach Introductory Comp at the Suffolk County House of Corrections at South Bay. We’re trying to make this a permanent program, but in the meantime I said "Let's just start and see what happens; I get paid to teach other classes on campus, and I'll do this for free.” Now we are in week 8 of Introductory Composition, and when incarcerated students get out, if they want to come to UMB, I'll be their advisor. Some people were worried there would be no interest in the program, but 19 women and 18 men signed up, which made me very proud. Every week now I am taking in handouts and they are reading, annotating, summarizing, analyzing, and imitating poems and stories and articles I bring in. They are already crushing it, even in-text citation, which drives every freshman comp student crazy. And they are doing it without computers, in exam books--those little blue books—with pencils they have to turn back in at the end of the class.
Funded by Boston, MA (January 2018)