Welcome back to PrisonApril 29, 2012 —
Though I still have one more week of going to Cayuga Correctional Facility, this is the last time I’ll be writing about it, at least till the print issue is distributed.
Over the course of the semester, a lot of the inmates that were in my class have been released. Instead of my 20 person class, I’m now left will only 10 men. I should be sad, but now, I find myself engaging with the inmates on a personal level, we sometimes talk about music and movies. Randomly, we have arguments on the merits of a college education or on the spelling of library (though one inmate is persuaded it is spelled libary).
I am just as happy now as I was with a full class. New men keep on attending the classes, each new man further proves how nice these guys are. I have never felt threatened, or intimated by any of them, but rather am continually surprised at how badly they want to succeed. Sometimes when I’m writing about my volunteering, it sounds like I’m writing a love letter. I simply think it’s amazing that the people I teach with are willing to give these guys a second chance and that these inmates are looking for one.
Once again, anyone contact Jim Schechter and join the Cornell Prison Education Program. I promise it will give you a new perspective on life, teaching, and most of all, prison.