Georgetown’s New Credit-Bearing Prison Education Program


– [Halim] Education has changed the trajectory of my life. – [Momolu] It has given
me a reason to breathe. – [Mustafa] It has given me
purpose as a human being. – [Narrator] In January 2018, the Prisons and Justice initiative launched a pilot education
program at the DC jail. We offered a variety of non-credit courses in the spring 2018 and
summer 2018 semesters. In September, 2018, thanks
to two generous donors, we added two credit bearing
courses per semester. We also have the only
co-educational prison education program in the country. This celebration marks the
end of a great semester, with both credit and non-credit classes. As we honor the power of
education to transform people’s lives, families and communities. – At one point, I always
thought that I didn’t really have a voice. A structure formed itself around my life that I couldn’t shape. And it wound me here, in prison. – A life of crime is something
that a lot of people do when they are ignorant to survive. I entered this jail
when I was 16 years old. A self-destructive, traumatized
child who I could barely read and write. I return 26 years later
as a Georgetown scholar. (audience applauding) When you become educated
and you have the know-hows, you have the tools to succeed, a life of crime isn’t
even an option anymore. You know, you see better ways. You have more opportunities
open up to you. – My goal is to be a doctor in sociology and to be a professor. I wrote this poem for this event and it’s called You Ask Me. You ask me what I’ve learned in democracy, I’ve learned that the greatest hypocrisy is that democracy isn’t
something that we should fight wars and kill for because democracy is something that we should
all strive to live for. – Prison is not rehabilitative, education is. Education is the very element
that rehabilitates us. – [Narrator] Each semester, we’re offering two credit bearing courses, along with six to eight
non-credit courses. And the response has been
overwhelmingly positive. So we want to go further. Our goal is to expand
our course offerings, enroll more students in our program and create a vibrant educational
community and culture at the DC jail. It’ll take more outside
support to achieve our goal, but I can say that our students
are working extremely hard, they’re making incredible progress and they’re truly performing
at the college level. – Thank you. – Thank you. – Thank you for your support. – [Narrator] For more
information and to support the scholars program, please visit prisons and justice
dot Georgetown dot EDU.

4 thoughts on “Georgetown’s New Credit-Bearing Prison Education Program”

  1. This is the greatest thing I’ve seen and I love it.. I was in jail for six months for something real stupid but I still learned from it.. I took a class like this and it helps me daily

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