Wa. Women Inmates Make Tapes For College Students


Women in Washington State prisons read into tape recorders about management and physiology. Windows XP, world history, and many other subjects. They place the audiotapes into FedEx envelopes and send them to community college students who couldn’t learn without them, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

It’s program at the Washington Corrections Center for Women at Purdy, Wa., that helps people toward college degrees and perhaps prevents some inmates from making return visits to prison.

For Candy Flowers, the reading program has meant learning discipline. “I don’t think I knew the meaning of the word ‘structure’ when I got here,” she said. “I’ve never been able to discipline myself — and that’s why I’m in prison.” Flowers is the most prolific reader. She’s read 28 textbooks in one year.

The nine women in the program have read nearly 200 college texts.They work with 12 local community colleges and are looking to expand to Oregon schools and K-12 special education programs.

Three years ago, Steven Nourse began teaching general education and basic English to felons. He knew Kathryn Held of Tacoma Community College, who had problems finding college text audiotapes for students who are blind or have reading disabilities. It was difficult to find readers to create tapes, organize them and control their quality. She collaborated with Nourse, and the program was born last January with just a couple of women, one college, and a few tape recorders.

Link: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/155055_purdy02.html

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