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San Quentin Classrooms Get Stanford Students

Inmates at San Quentin will begin a workshop led by Stanford Law students.

Stanford University students will gain an insider's knowledge about the prison system when they begin working with a group of 20 San Quentin State Prison inmates in a university-led workshop.

The workshop, which brings together students pursuing degrees in law, psychology, and literature, is part the Stanford Prison Forum, organized by Stanford Law School students Sara Mayeux and Maggie Filler.

"We need more tools to understand prisons and issues like recidivism than just studying the legal system," Filler said in a statement.

Ten students will participate in sessions held in a classroom near the prison's exercise yard on Sunday afternoons.

"I'm more interested in what happens once someone is in prison, and learning directly from people who are serving time makes sense," Filler said.

The students and inmates have studied parole policies and America's penal system.

The inmates have already received associate's degrees through the Prison University Project, a nonprofit that provides the two-year degrees as an extension site of Oakland's Patten University.

"They've gone as far as they can go with classes," Filler said. "This is sort of like graduate school."

The workshop is supported by the university's Criminal Justice Center and the vice provost for graduate education.

Bay City News Service

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