Shakespeare in Prison Project

Fall 2016

As the world celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, Georgia Tech students will travel to a high-security men’s prison outside Atlanta to discuss Shakespeare with incarcerated students. While the United States represents only about 5% of the world's population, we incarcerate 25% of the world's inmates — more than any other country in the world. With a recidivism rate of nearly 60%, and eight black and Hispanic males incarcerated for every one white male, mass incarceration is exorbitantly expensive, socially deteriorating, racially unjust, and insufficient to deter crime or to fully satisfy victims. But college-in-prison programs intersect with incarceration’s empirical failures by restoring dignity and humanity to prisoners. And Shakespeare remains a creative force in our society because he taps into what makes us human, making him a perfect magnet to draw two different groups of students together. Students who visit the prison report that it’s a profoundly meaningful experience, and the prisoners say that academic discussions with visiting students “make them feel human again." While the prison trips are currently full for the fall semester, please contact Dr. Higinbotham (sarah.higinbotham@gatech.edu) if you’d like to be added to the waiting list or to learn more about college and incarceration.

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