Sociology Students Go to Prison For Class Requirement

Temple University

For 18 years, the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program has been “a staple of social and criminal justice education at over 100 universities,” writes Krysta Amber Loftis of USA Today.  Inside-Out arranges classes at local prisons featuring both incarcerated and non-incarcerated students.

The Inside-Out program began in 1997 at Philadelphia’s Temple University, and has since become a staple of social and criminal justice education at over 100 universities, including Michigan State, the University of Toledo, Penn State and Dartmouth.

Take the example of Central Michigan University (CMU).

Members of CMU’s chapter of the national Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program spend Tuesday nights in the Central Michigan Correctional Facility in St. Louis. The class, Social Issues through the Prism of Prison, is taught by sociology professor Justin Smith.

This is the second semester CMU has offered the course.

“It’s (13) students from the inside and (13) students from the outside,” Smith said, explaining that the incarcerated men are between the ages of 20 and 65.

“A lot of this is a reaction to making sure we’re improving education in prisons, but also in higher education institutions. It’s a way to offer CMU students a very diverse setting to learn in (and) a way to learn from a variety of experiences, a variety of ages.”

The prison portion of the class consists of group discussions.

Issues range from the criminal justice system to gender, race and racism, class, social change, social movements and collective action.

“Both the inside guys and outside students get a lot out of it,” Smith said. “The inside guys are mostly older, and they’ve been through a different lifestyle than the students. The students have had a lot more access to education. We’re able to have a lot of good discussions.”

MSNBC’s Reaction To Netanyahu’s ‘State Of The Union Address’

Is it acceptable for a foreign leader to give a “State of the Union”-style speech to the U.S. government?  Would it be okay if Vladimir Putin did the same?

TYT Network discusses MSNBC’s reaction to the recent speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to both houses of the United States Congress. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was less than pleased.

Could Netanyahu’s speech have been an attempt to de-rail the President’s current P5+1 talks with Iran over its nuclear program?

Interestingly, Senate Republican leaders had been planning to take a bill next week that would have given Congress an up-or-down vote on any agreement international negotiators make with Iran.

CNN: “Senate Republican leaders ditched plans Thursday to take up a bill next week that would have given Congress an up-or-down vote on any agreement international negotiators — led by the United States — make with Iran on its nuclear program, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN.

“The move comes after Democrats, who were upset GOP leaders decided to fast-track the legislation, threatened to block taking up the bill. Democrats fear immediate consideration could disrupt the sensitive talks with Iran that face an important March 24 deadline.”

The National Review writes about Matthews:  “He saw the speech as an attempt to sabotage and undermine the nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and it’s allies and Iran. Matthews has been quoted as saying, ‘This man, from a foreign government, walked into the United States legislative chamber and tried to take over U.S. foreign policy.'”


TYT Network

Updated post

Congress Plans On Food Stamp Cuts


TYT Network

House Republicans are laying the groundwork for a revision of the food-stamps program after its sharp expansion during the recession.

The effort kicks off Feb. 25 when the House Agriculture Committee holds the first of several hearings scheduled this year on food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Also, several Republicans in Congress are proposing legislation that would require a person to show photo identification when using food stamps.