Boston Globe: Amherst College Poli Sci Class in Local Prison

Submitted by Paul S. Statt
Unlearning Preconceptions
The Boston Globe, May 17
"Anthony Jack and Jude Mischke took vastly different paths to get to their Amherst College political science course this semester.

Jack-a 22-year-old senior toting paper, pen, and textbooks-boarded a school van with classmates last week for the final class and chatted about exams and summer plans.

Mischke, 38, wrapped up recreation time in the prison yard at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction. He showered, dressed in dark, prison-provided blue shirt and pants, and grabbed his schoolwork from his cell.

He and Jack met in the jail's visiting room, where inmates and students from three area colleges sat in alternate chairs. Their professor was Kristin Bumiller of Amherst College , who was teaching one of two courses in the Pioneer Valley to bring together the colleges' students and inmates as equals.

At a time when prisons across the state lack federal or state funding for college-degree programs, Bumiller and Simone Davis, an English professor at Mount Holyoke College, are establishing several courses involving inmates and students in the region's five colleges, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Amherst, and Hampshire."

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