Virtual CCCC Workshop March 25, 2020

Our goal for this year’s workshop was to not only foster collaboration between teacher-scholars working in prisons, but also offer participants the opportunity to engage in conversation with members of the Milwaukee corrections and reentry community about the role writing plays in rehabilitation and reform. In keeping with the CCCC 2020 theme of testing our commonplaces, we also hoped to explore how ideologies around writing-as-emancipation shape our practices and assumptions about prison-based writing instruction.

Screenshot of virtual workshop discussion, March 25, 2020

Due to COVID-19, we moved our conversation to Zoom, and shared current projects, challenges, and resources around a variety of topics, including (1) navigating administrative bureaucracy; (2) exploring methods of self-care through mindfulness practice; (3) making prison classrooms inclusive to a range of student learners; (4) Using writing center pedagogies in prison-based college prep courses; and (5) exploring a decolonial framework towards research protocols that are more respectful, relational, and reciprocal.

You will find resources for some of these topics here, including descriptions of programs and curricula, courtesy of workshop participants.

Dr. Alexandra Cavallaro, workshop co-chair, directs the Center for the Study of Correctional Education (CSCE) at CSU San Bernardino. You can learn about CSCE’s partnership with the Prison Education Project here, and find a list of CSCE resources and publications on Correctional Education here. Contact Alex at cavallaro@csusb.edu.

Dr. Libby Catchings, workshop co-chair and affiliate faculty with the University of Denver Prison Arts Initiative, shares a Program Summary and Outcomes Report for volunteers, teachers, or administrators looking for contract-based program models using writing to support state correctional/rehabilitative goals. You can learn more about DU Prison Arts Initiative workshops here, the CDOC-sponsored podcast With(in) here, and DU PAI’s prison theatre productions performed around the state here. For more about how to use theater and writing workshops to facilitate better relationships during and beyond incarceration, email prisonarts@du.edu.

Dr. Anna Plemons, practitioner with the Family Arts Program Writing Exchange, California Arts in Corrections, and the Lake Tahoe Community College Incarcerated Students Program, offers a series of writing prompts to support current and future prison-based writing programming. You will find a selection of those prompts here; she has also provided a bibliography for prison pedagogies below. Contact Anna at aplemons@wsu.edu.

Laura Hardin Marshall, doctoral candidate, shared the Saint Louis University Prison Education Program’s partnership with University Writing Services, which provides imprisoned participants with supportive feedback on their work. Learn more about the Saint Louis University Prison Program curriculum here; you’ll find Laura’s PowerPoint on asynchronous writing center pedagogies below. Contact Laura at laura.hardinmarshall@slu.edu, or SLU PEP program director Paul Lynch at paul.lynch@slu.edu

Laura Rogers, professor of Composition and Rhetoric at Albany College of of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, provides these writing activities from her workshop at Greene Correctional.

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