Module THREE - Prison

April 20 - May 1

Essential Questions

1) How does our society use prison?

2) What are the literatures that come out of prisons?

3) What are fair uses of prison?

At the completion of this module you can expect to:

  • Critically read and evaluate a literary texts, informational texts, and poetry.
  • Support your critical analysis by answering specific questions on the text using textual evidence.
  • Participate in the class' discussion board.

Assignment #1 - Who Goes to Prison?

With a partner, review the attached report (In Schoology) and find the answers to the following. Be sure to complete your one paragraph response at the end.

Page #1

  • What is the prison population in 1972?
  • What is the prison population in 2012?
  • What is the rate of incarceration in the United States?
  • What is the rate of incarceration in Canada?

Page #2

  • How has incarceration changed in the USA in the past 40 years?
  • On the Federal Prison level what is the biggest offense?
  • On the state level what is the biggest offense?

Page #3

  • What are some effects of the War on Drugs policy?

Page #4

  • What are some reasons women’s incarceration has been increasing over the past forty years?
  • Which state has the lowest female prison population?
  • Which state has the highest female prison population?

Page #5

  • What is the rate of incarceration for black men?
  • What is the likelihood of being in prison for all men?

Page #6

  • In 2012 how many people are serving life?
  • What was the year that had the most juveniles serving in adult prisons?

After collecting all this data, write a one paragraph response. What do you think is the most important issue about incarceration in The United States?

Assignment #2 - Aaron Hernandez - Submit in Schoology

Read the article Aaron Hernandez, Guilty of Murder, Shed Tackles, but Not His Past,” and answer the following questions:

WHO is Aaron Hernandez?

WHERE did he grow up?

WHAT was his golden ticket out of central Connecticut as a 17-year-old?

WHAT N.F.L. team signed Mr. Hernandez to a $40 million contract?
WHAT was Mr. Hernandez convicted of on Wednesday?

WHAT was the sentence he received?

WHO did the jury convict Mr. Hernandez of killing?

WHEN did Mr. Hernandez’s father die?

HOW did Mr. Hernandez know the victim?

For Higher-Order Thinking

Ken Belson and Victor Mather write: “His conviction is unwelcome news for the N.F.L., which has long had to contend with current and former players getting into trouble, including those arrested on weapons charges and assault. Last year, the league was accused of not grasping the seriousness of domestic violence after a video was released showing the former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée.” Is there anything the N.F.L. should be doing to try to address the violence by players off the field? WHY?

Assignment #3 - Malcolm X in Prison

1) "Any person who claims to have a deep feeling for other human being should think a long, long time before he votes to have other men kept behind bars - caged" (pg 149). Do you agree or disagree? Explain your reasons.

2) Malcolm X gets high off of nutmeg (pg 150) and continues to use other drugs he can get his hands on. What saved him from this life? Use textual evidence for support.

3) Educational rehabilitation programs from Harvard University were in place for Malcolm X in 1948. Should we allow (and pay) for prisoners to earn college degrees? Explain.

4) Where did Malcolm X say he got his education? Use textual evidence for support.

5) Page 154 - "my reading of books, months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life". What does Malcolm X mean with this quote? How could he be free while still in prison?

Malcolm X (1992) Dictionary Scene

Assignment #4 - HIV in Prison

Read "AIDS: The View from a Prison Cell" and watch the attached videos. Then answer the following:

1) Page 339. Read the paragraph that begins "The Greek was a homosexual..." (5th down). Explain what the author means when he describes the Greek's sexual history.

2) Should prisoners with HIV be isolated from other prisoners, like they are in South Carolina? Why or why not?

3) In California they are giving out condoms for free for prisoners. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?

4) How can HIV in prison be a public health hazard? Explain.
Experience with HIV in prison
US Prisons Isolate HIV Positive Inmates
California Prisons Provide Free Condoms to Inmates

ASSIGNMENT # 5 - Voki Editing & Revision

Pick ONE submission from this module and REVISE & EDIT your paragraph using Voki.

Submit your edited Voki link here.

Directions in link here:

ASSIGNMENT # 6 - Bard College in Prison

Pick TWO questions to answer:

  • How did the prisoners strike you or surprise you? (The “60 Minutes” reporter asks the Bard professor this question toward the end of the segment.)
  • One of the inmates in the film, talks about the purposes of vocational training versus studying the humanities: “A vocational program might give you skills to have a job, but it’s not going give you skills to have a life.” What kind of skills is he talking about? Is this important for people who may be in prison for decades?
  • Why would inmates elect to participate in a program like this?
  • How is this program a “psychological lifesaver”?
  • What other arguments are furthered by professors, university leaders, inmates and prison officials for offering educational opportunities to inmates in prison? What do you think?


ASSIGNMENT # 7 - College for Convicts

Read the following article "College for Convicts" in the Zaption recording below and answer the questions as they show on the screen. Again, be sure you record your name in the beginning or you will not get credit for your answers.



ASSIGNMENT # 8 - Juvenile in Prison for life

Watch the Videos & Listen to the Audio on Juveniles in prison and answer the following question in depth (at least two paragraphs). You may also research other videos/articles, etc. for support.

1) Do you agree with sentences for juveniles that sends them to life in prison without any chance of parole? Explain with references to the video you watched.

* Introduce your claim

* State your reasons

* Support with text

* Conclude

Weighing Life Without Parole for Juvenile Murder Convicts

ASSIGNMENT # 9 - Why Prison? (Extra Credit)

Read the article "What should be the purpose of Prison" and pick TWO questions to answer below:

1. What should be the purpose of prison?

2. Should jails and prisons punish people? Should they serve as a deterrent to crime? Or should they try to rehabilitate people — and help them get back on their feet?

3. Should we incarcerate people for minor offenses, such as driving with suspended licenses, shoplifting or evading subway fares? Or should local officials come up with other alternatives? What should those alternatives be?

4. The Vera Institute of Justice study said that while 68 percent of jail inmates had a history of abusing drugs, alcohol or both, jail-based drug treatment programs had been underfunded. Should prisons and jails provide more mental health and drug and alcohol treatment services? Who should pay for those programs