Going Forth Episode 37: Transcending the Razor Wire – The Power of a Liberal Arts Education

27 miles to the southwest of Grinnell is the Newton Correctional Facility. It is a medium and low security prison: one of the 1,500 state prisons that blanket our nation. Since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world. In many parts of America, ⁠according to the Washington Post⁠, there are more people living in prisons than there are living on college campuses.

Our guests on this episode are Grinnellians–Emily Guenther ‘07, Jason Ross, and Jason Darrah–whose classes did not take place on-campus but at the Newton Correctional Facility, as a part of the ⁠Liberal Arts in Prison Program⁠. Today, the initiative is one of 15 programs nationally in the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison that offer access to a college education for incarcerated individuals.

This is a story about redefining what it means to be a Grinnellian, and how thanks to the power of a liberal arts education, we grant access to life-changing opportunities.

For more information about mass incarceration and education in prison, visit the ⁠Prison Policy Initiative⁠, ⁠Bard Prison Initiative⁠, and the ⁠Population Reference Bureau⁠.