For incarcerated people, education is transformative. A 2013 study by the RAND Corporation found that people in prison who experienced postsecondary education are 43 percent less likely to end up in prison again. Despite this evidence, only 11 percent of incarcerated people in state prisons and 24 percent of those in federal prisons have completed at least some postsecondary education.
Here in Massachusetts, colleges and universities are taking a closer look at prison education. As part of MIT’s Educational Justice Institute, Lee Perlman teaches "inside-out classes" and brings MIT students inside local prisons to take classes side by side with incarcerated men and women. In this short film, go inside Boston’s South Bay House of Correction and explore an extraordinary classroom experience. When these "inside" and "outside" students come together for a philosophy class about the power of forgiveness, they all discover that they have a lot to learn from each other.
Watch Ken Burns' College Behind Bars on streaming.