Much can be said regarding what exactly to call what I do. Some call it prison education. Others call it correctional education, yet others refer to it as inmate education. Some even call it adult continuing education or adult basic education. Though, if you want to get technical, it’s really prisoners teaching prisoners since I am a prisoner myself. Which begs the question of: What am I? Am I a teacher, instructor, professor, prisoner-teacher, prison educator, or adult educator? How about educational consultant? I like that last one. It makes me seem special somehow, as if my counsel is worthy of acclaim. But the truth of the matter is that I am federal prisoner number #22132-058. I came before 22133 and after 22128. The 058 part is the North Carolina designation. The difference though is that I know 22128, and while a nice guy, he’s not an instructor of sorts as I am. Most aren’t.
Regardless of what I am to be called or what term is coined to refer to that which I do, it is a very peculiar thing. Those of you who follow this Prison Education Blog know that I teach a class. I teach a class at FCI-Petersburg, a federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia. My class is titled Writing and Publishing and meets every Monday night from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. That’s right. I teach a room full of prisoners, people which society and the courts have deemed need to be locked away. Prisoners are the kind of people that other people need to be protected from. Dangerous gig, right?