Spring 2018 Recipient: Martha Hurley

Prison Education

Dr. Martha Hurley was granted $200 by the ELIFF grant to help her criminal justice studies classes tutor female inmates at a prison. The funds were used for transportation and tutoring was offered two nights during the week for 12 weeks. Students in her CJS 305, 399, and 497 classes assisted inmates with preparing for the GED. 

There were several learning outcomes that were reached for Hurley's experiential learning activity. First, students were able to articulate what they have learned about the correctional system in a written narrative. Second, students were able to describe something new they learned about corrections and analyze how their personal perspectives have changed as a result of working with female inmates. Third, students were able to integrate and link the experiential learning (EL) experience to examples from their coursework. Fourth, students were able to connect examples from participation in EL to diverse perspectives, cultures, and worldviews. 

The students that participated in the EL activity committed to traveling once per week for at least 10 weeks to tutor female prisoners who are preparing to earn a GED. The program involved students gaining direct experience with correctional staff and inmates. The students applied knowledge gained from criminal justice courses each visit. They also expanded their ability to communicate with diverse population via the tutoring process. 

Refection is an integral part of any EL experience, so in this experience students were required to reflect by keeping a weekly reflection journal. The journal recorded knowledge utilized, perceptions of the weekly tutoring sessions, and general impressions. Students also completed a paper at the end of the course which included a reflection component. 

Pre/Post experience assessment was conducted to asses knowledge integration and the learning of new concepts related to the criminal justice system prior to the start of the EL class. At the end of a semester, a post assessment was conducted to assess growth in knowledge. Hurley assessed the successfulness of her learning activity through her students final reflection paper, and their weekly journal.

Martha Henderson Hurley

Professor; Director, Criminal Justice Studies Program

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The Office of Experiential Learning

Roesch Library
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469