Assistant Professor Patrick Berry Discusses New Book and Teaching Literary Skills in Prisons
As his new book “Doing Time, Writing Lives: Refiguring Literacy and Higher Education in Prison,” has hit shelves, assistant professor and chair of the writing and rhetoric program Patrick Berry was featured in an Inside Higher Ed article. He discussed his new book, and the overall system of teaching inmates literary skills.
“Of course, not all literacy programs are the same, but in general, I don’t see any disadvantage in offering literacy education in prison. All the men in Project Justice … had earned the equivalent of an associate’s degree and were, by and large, “literate” in the conventional sense of the word before they entered prison,” he said. “Writing for them was not solely about learning skills, although that played a part. It allowed them to reflect on their histories and to reimagine their lives. By writing about their experiences with literacy, they were able to consider the various social, cultural and material forces that had shaped their literacy learning.”