My first Inside-Out class in a juvenile correctional facility is quickly drawing to a close on our 10 week quarter system. The word cloud featured here is how the students described the experience. I asked each of the 27 students (from OSU and from the facility) to write three words that described our class, and this is what they came up with. Fun, eye-opening, interesting, thought-provoking…I’ll take it! Those are pretty good adjectives to describe any college class.
Along with Sarah Ferrer’s guest editorial in The Oregonian newspaper, there have been other interesting products from this short class. First, we’ve added on to the We are the 1 in 100 tumblr site that was started in last fall’s class in the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Next, several of this quarter’s outside students were featured in a story in Oregon State University’s student newspaper, The Daily Barometer. In the story, they share their enthusiasm for the experience and the group service-learning projects they are working on with the inside students. The last lines of the story:
The students are all very grateful to have taken part in the class and encourage other students to take advantage of it in future terms. “This class is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Settelmeyer said. “It does a great job of sparking student interest in making a difference and walks us through starting to do just that.”
Finally, I’m working again the with the Think Out Loud crew from Oregon Public Radio. They are going to be taping their hour-long show tonight in the youth facility with my class. The show is scheduled to air tomorrow morning at 9:00. It should be available on OPB’s website (to stream or download as a podcast) shortly after. The major question that emerged from our pre-show interviews, “From inside Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility we ask inmates: what is happening in prison to make them better citizens when they are released?” I’m hoping for a fun, eye-opening, interesting, thought-provoking (sound familiar?) and very positive show.
So, for one brief class, I think we’ve done our part for public criminology and bringing attention to issues surrounding prisons and juvenile correctional facilities and their impacts on both those inside the walls and on the larger community. I’ll be sorry to see this class end, but I am looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility and the Oregon Youth Authority.