since 1965  (really?)

Teach in Prison

This course listing applies to a Spring 2010 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2010
Public Policy 198
2 Unit(s)



community service /
field work course

About the Course:

The Teach in Prison Decal aims to provide students with a unique service learning experience as they tutor prisoners in San Quentin State Prison.

This program enriches almost any professional or personal interest you can think of: law, psychology, politics, and curiosity to name a few.  And while you're learning about the California corrections system, you'll be helping eager students work toward their high school diploma.  One morning a week you'll join a group of Cal students for the brief commute to San Quentin.  Once there you'll assist inmates in the prison’s education department.  We also meet on campus one afternoon per week to discuss the prison system (Monday, 5-7).  These meetings often feature guest lecturers, including: prison psychologists, guards, Boalt criminal law experts, writers, documentarians, and former inmates.

How to Enroll:

The only requirements — per San Quentin regulations — is that tutors be at least 21 years of age.  Students will also be required to pass a background check.  Traffic violations and juvenile records aren't scrutinized, but any felony charge in the past 10 years, misdemeanors in the past 5, or DUI in the state of California will prevent your approval. 

A vehicle is not required, but is extremely helpful.

There is a high level of interest in this rare opportunity to see, from the inside, how a prison actually operates.  It's a safe, exciting, and fulfilling experience.  Given the high demand of the course, you will find it beneficial to send a brief e-mail letting us know you're interested.  The telebears waitlist is irrelevant, as  students will be manually added only after receiving a Course Entry Code in class.

This course is offered Mondays from 5-7 PM.  There will be a NON-MANDATORY informational meeting in GSPP 150 @ 5pm the first Monday (1/25) of the semester, for any misguided souls who think this is the greatest opportunity ever.  It is highly recommended you attend this to increase your chances of enrollment.  The first MANDATORY meeting is on Monday, February 1, 5-7pm.

 NB: Juniors who are not yet 21 but interested in an organizational or leadership role are encouraged to send us a brief introductory e-mail.


Course Contact: teachinprison AT

Website: read about our recent grant to build a computer lab:

Faculty Sponsor: Jane Mauldon

Time & Location:

Marie Fernandez
Alayna Johnson
Sally Sowter
60GSPP 150M 5p-7p2/01started

Uploaded Files:

Miscellaneous: 150gspp-webmap.jpgJan 13201kbJPEG PhotoView Download

Course info last modified January 22, 2010. This page has been viewed 9408 times.

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