Professor Emerita, English / Nonfiction Writing
Professor Emerita, English
Associate Professor, Music Education
Professor Emerita, Communication Science & Disorders
4:00 – 5:00 pm
Thursday, October 21, 2021
This panel discussion will offer an introduction to higher education in Iowa’s prisons, focusing on the Iowa Medical & Classification Center (IMCC; Oakdale Prison) and the Liberal Arts Beyond the Bars (LLAB) program. In addition to the introductory class, courses in writing and peace building have been valuable offerings.
In one semester, many students emerged as insightful, competent writers who gave voice to the difficulties of broken families, the emergence of independence, as well as the hilarity of a favorite haircut. Facilitation of the Oakdale Prison Community Choir has helped build relationships between the Iowa Department of Corrections and the University of Iowa. Incarcerated men (inside singers) and community members (outside singers, including UI students, faculty, and staff) have performed concerts inside the prison including original songs and writing reflections.
Our purposes have been to build communities of caring inside, and especially outside of prison walls. Unhealthy stigmas about people in custody limit our ability to move forward toward welcoming returning citizens and dismantling racist policing, legal, and punishing practices.