Bank of America Grant: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison System: Visiting the Women of York Correctional

  • School Year: 2018-2019
  • Applicants: Jessica Palliardi, Lead Teacher
  • School: Hall High School
  • Subjects: Social Studies

As part of the Introduction to Sociology course, this grant will allow students from Hall High School to have a first-hand look inside the U.S. prison system by visiting and touring York Correctional Institute in Niantic, CT. The field trip to York Correctional allows students to see prison as a microcosm of society, with its own subculture and norms, and learn about the real “people” behind bars- not just the “criminals.” At York, the comprehensive tour will include the intake area, mental health ward, minimum- and maximum-security cells, solitary confinement cells, the prison school, and cafeteria. Students will meet with a panel of inmates who will share their life stories, crimes committed, what they have learned from incarceration, and why they tell their stories to students. Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and interact with the panel. This personal exchange with inmates is the most meaningful for the students and has a profound and lasting impact on them. After the field trip, students will debrief as a class sharing their reactions about being in a prison and interacting with inmates. In addition, students will complete thorough group multimedia research projects on various components of the U.S. prison system, such as pregnant women and racial segregation in prison, prison food, and solitary confinement, and will present their findings to the class.

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