Post #4 — What A College Program Can Do in Prison

In the video, the Prison University Project is a non-profit organization at San Quentin State Prison that provides a college education for inmates. The project gives inmates an education, a college program that would require lots of writing, a safe environment, and in a room with people that is there with the same particular reason. The project does not receive any federal or state funding, but is funded through individuals and foundations with the help of volunteered instructors from leading universities. Within this video, this project goes through each prisoner on their previous life and education as well as how receiving the education given to them has changed them.

The Prison University Project video gives an insight of the prisoners’ views on how this college program has resulted for them. This gives me an understanding and the awareness on how education could change a person as an individual and their education. This realization of people that lacked the education in their lives or couldn’t afford it has shown to impact their lives and the people in the video shows being offered the education, the prisoners would take it.

The Past and The Experience

Each inmate has a past experience where education had been little to no part of their life. This gives a perspective of how your previous life can affect your future and in these people’s views. This can also show how their education would be given to them and that for some people, education was barely part of their lives or they just couldn’t afford having it. The people that are being interviewed consists of mostly prisoners that were given the opportunity for an education and took it, their experience with the program has given them a new perspective and new goals for future success which I find admirable.

The Environment

The program is more than just learning and writing, but within the environment with people that are doing the same thing and are willing to help each other. The inmates are able to communicate with each other in a safe environment and given the same work as a college student would get outside of prison. The thing about the program is that it is like an ordinary college despite the prisoners being in prison, they’re given the safe environment and could communicate with each other like any student to student or even teacher to student if possible. The environment feels comfortable to the prisoners where they would be able to communicate with each other if they need help, doing the same thing with the same feeling and emotions.


From watching the video, the Prison University Project is one of the many college programs that gives inmates an education and what I’ve watched has shown how this program would have positive effects with a safe environment. Hearing from the inmates about their past experience and their education that was given, their lives in prison were changed with the college program and it gave them purpose once they’re released. The environment is safe and it gives the inmates to move about with each other in comfort thus giving off a sort of feel how it would be in school or in a sense as to being in college. Knowing that they’re given a safe environment for communication and such with a set determination of a goal for the prisoners gives me an understanding that the college program would be very beneficial for inmates in prison.

Work Cited

“Prison University Project.” Vimeo. Vimeo LLC. 2016. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.