SULC student organization focusing on education in prison

Southern University Law students are creating a program to help inmates receive an undergraduate degree while they are serving time.
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2022 at 11:22 AM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. - Southern University Law students are taking a closer look at the men and women who are sitting behind bars.

“When you are in prison, you are technically confined, but that doesn’t put any confines on your mind. So, we want them to have the opportunity to have the freedom of the mind, in the situation where they don’t have the freedom of their body,” explained Keyra Johnson, who is the president of the Louisiana College Prison Project.

Johnson and other students are putting together the Louisiana College Prison Project, giving inmates a chance to advance their education while they serve time.

“We all have our individual stories, but we all know that it is not a secret that the black community has been deeply affected by mass incarceration at an alarming rate. A lot of us either have a distant relative or an immediate relative who have been affected by incarceration,” said Jazzmyn Moultrie who is the vice president of the LCPP.

Moultrie said they are modeling their prison project off of other schools like Georgetown University, where inmates succeeded in the educational program. Moultrie added the goal is to give offenders a chance at a liberal arts undergraduate degree. Higher education can give them an advantage when they leave the system.

“This is a gateway for them. A lot of them, there is also like an alumni program with the Bard Prison Initiative, and they are able to tap into that and into resources and are kind of guided into the next steps. Whether that is a job, some of them have even obtained their masters with the BPI program,” noted Moultrie.

The student-led organization is looking at three correctional facilities in Louisiana, primarily focusing on juveniles. Students and leaders believe this program will help lower an inmate’s chance of going back to jail and remind them there is something more to life after lockup.

On Friday, August 26, 2022, Southern University Law Center will be showing the documentary, “College Behind Bars.” Registration is required: www.sulc.edu/behindbars.

Southern University Law students are creating a program to help inmates receive an...
Southern University Law students are creating a program to help inmates receive an undergraduate degree while they are serving time.(wafb)

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