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prison reform

College education in prisons is a no-brainer.

Prison is supposed to serve two purposes: punishment and rehabilitation. But often prisoners emerge with the skills to be a better criminal and little knowledge on how to live an improved life. A prison in California is hoping to change the revolving door effect for some inmates by being the first to have a fully accredited junior college behind bars.

At Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison inmates can earn an Associate of Arts degree by taking classes in literature, American government, astronomy and precalculus. The college was named after the mountain next to the prison and was accredited in January after a commission determined the extension program at the prison was providing a high-quality education. The college can accommodate up to 300 prisoners, and is currently full with another 200 on the waiting list.

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