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Stanford Graduate Students Prep For Fifth Year Of The Prison University Project

Publication Date: 2014-10-30
Source: The Stanford Daily

Debbie Mukamal, executive director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center describes the unique type of educational experience students who take part in the The Prison University Project will receive in this Stanford Daily article. 

Stanford graduate students are preparing to renew their involvement with the Prison University Project for its fifth consecutive year, this year focusing on the role that inequality plays in understanding incarceration.

The Prison University Project, a nonprofit organization that runs an associate’s degree program as an extension site of Patten University, seeks to provide higher education to prisoners at San Quentin State Prison in California — the oldest prison in the state.


“I’ve heard many teachers speak about the generational effect when a father who’s in prison is taking college classes that inspires his children on the outside. If they are both taking college classes that deepens the bond between them,” said Debbie Mukamal, executive director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center and the Stanford Law School liaison for the project.


“It’s the type of education about criminal law and crime policy that you can’t learn through textbooks but you can only learn through interaction,” Mukamal said.

“What is it like to go through security at a prison, to experience a lock down, to talk with and learn alongside someone who has been incarcerated since they were 17 and the impact that has had on their life and their families,” she added.

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