We’re hiring two new staff for the education team at PJI, which I will supervise.
- Patuxent Site Director, Prisons and Justice Initiative – Georgetown College
- Assistant Director of Education, Prisons and Justice Initiative – Georgetown College
(We’re also hiring a Department Administrator!)
I’m incredibly proud of the work that we do at the Prisons and Justice Initiative–but this has been an especially powerful year. After the Pivot graduation this June, we all thought we had settled into a rhythm, until a confluence of events suggested that we’d be able to expand the Scholars program in the corrections system in the state of Maryland, with a bachelor’s degree. Now the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has agreed to help fund that expansion.
Georgetown has been committed to teaching in prisons in one way or another for almost forty years. The support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will allow us to redouble that commitment, with a bachelor’s degree and an expanded footprint in Maryland. We love to showcase the genius of students who are incarcerated—both their greatness and their goodness—because it points to the more fundamental fact that they are our neighbors and fellow citizens.
Because of mass incarceration, there are millions of people incarcerated in the US who would not be incarcerated in most of the rest of the world: generations of should-have-been undergraduates in prisons and jails who have been waiting for their chance to be that first year student in a philosophy class or to write that senior thesis on trade policy. With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Georgetown is going to educate the next generation of formerly-incarcerated leaders who will help to reverse the policies that trapped them.
I’ve always argued that punishment requires mutual responsibility, and that one form of that mutual responsibility is a willingness to both teach and learn. We need to respond to harm with something other than more harm. Georgetown gets this, in part because of the Christian commitment to “visit the prisoner” and the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis, “care for the whole person.” That pedagogical ideal ends up meaning more than just “a sound mind in a sound body.” It means a commitment to serious attention to others, even students and even those we tend to ignore. Ignatius—himself formerly incarcerated—put it this way: “be slow to speak and patient in listening to all.” It’s the model for what we’re trying to do with prison education.
If those sound like your values, please apply!