Social Justice Education Program
The people we work with have endured years, and sometimes decades, of institutionalization within the criminal justice system. We designed a unique course that teaches them about what some of the factors are that helped land them in prison in the first place, ways in which they can become civically engaged, and how to have a stake in their society.
The Social Justice Education Program, which was taught for many years in San Quentin State Prison as an intensive 18 week curriculum, has been re-visioned in a shorter format appropriate for county jail, juvenile detention, and transitional community offerings. The course is an experience that challenges participants to see their lives and their place in the social structure through a new lens meant to empower them, imbue them with a sense of social justice, and provide them with framework for making different choices. The interactive course, as well as a diverse body of volunteers, help participants to break away from institutional thinking and think about how they can become engaged community members. On completion, participants know the differences between retributive, restorative, procedural, and transitional justice, how these theories affect their lives, and how they can achieve positive changes working within the system.