Posted 8 months ago on March 24, 2013, 7:13 p.m. EST by GirlFriday
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A “win-win” situation The chapel buzzes. It is no small achievement to be part of EJP. If an inmate wants to join, first he must have a high school diploma or its equivalent (and many don’t, with the average DCC inmate entering prison with a sixth-grade reading ability), along with at least 60 college credit hours, the same as a UI transfer student.
The credits can be earned through the prison’s community college programs, which provide 100- and 200-level courses. Although the state of Illinois had a long history of being in the forefront of offering higher education in prisons, says Ginsburg, today the only place where inmates can receive upper-level classes is at the Danville facility. Currently, approximately 100 inmates are enrolled.
EJP brings many academic opportunities to the prison, from science, cultural and writing workshops to courses in history, statistics, linguistics, engineering and how to teach English as a second language. Inmates have performed theater and organized art exhibits that feature their work on the UI campus. There is talk of learning media production through a new EJP program being aired on community radio in Urbana.
EJP, which is funded entirely by grants and donations, cannot yet offer degrees, but inmates are awarded college credit. Read the rest here