A college education is out of reach for most state and federal prisoners. California’s San Quentin is one of the few prisons in the country that offers college-level courses.
大学教育在大多数州和联邦监狱都是不可能的。加州圣昆廷监狱是全美为数不多的提供大学课程的监狱之一。

Jody Lewen has run the facility’s college program for over a decade and she's the reason that the Prison University Project exists today.
乔迪·勒文经营这座监狱的大学教育计划已经10多年了。正是因为她,监狱的大学计划才能够存在到今天。

Taking charge

When Lewen joined San Quentin's college program in 1999 as a volunteer instructor, it was run by a small volunteer staff with no budget. At that time, she was a graduate student, with plans to return to academic research. But a year later, when the part-time director suddenly quit, Lewen found herself in charge.
勒文1999年作为志愿教师加入了圣昆廷监狱大学教育计划。这个计划没有预算,由几个志愿者经营。勒文回忆说,她希望把高等教育带给缺少机会的人。她当时还是一名研究生,原计划回去从事学术研究。但是,一年后,这个计划的兼职主任突然辞职,勒文不得不担负起监狱大学计划的责任。

"I thought for a long time it was just temporary and that somebody else was going to keep the program running," she says. "But once I started doing the work and got more deeply involved, I also began to see the potential the program had. And I started to think more and more about what this program could become. There was nobody else to run it. And I thought it would just be one of those failures for the rest of my life if I let it fold.
勒文说:“我一直认为这只是暂时的,会有别人来接手。但是,当我开始做并更深地投入进去后,我逐渐看到这个计划的潜力。我开始越来越多地思考它的发展前景、服务对象以及有可能实现的价值和理想等。我真的开始着迷了。没有其他人接手。我想,如果我让这个计划半途而废,这将成为我一辈子的失败之一。”

Expanded program

Under Lewen’s leadership, the Prison University Project has expanded, now offering 20 classes in English, math, the humanities, social science and Spanish. Three hundred inmates enroll every semester, earning college credits which can lead to an associate of arts degree. Lewen has recruited more than 150 volunteer teachers and graduate students from nearby colleges and universities. She says attracting teachers is not difficult, although some of the new instructors are nervous their first time at San Quentin.
在乔迪·勒文的领导下,监狱大学计划得到大大地扩充,提供英语、数学、人文学、社会科学和西班牙语等20门课程。每学期都有300名监狱犯人注册上课,他们取得大学学分,最终能拿到副学士学位。勒文从附近大专院校聘请了150名志愿教师和研究生。她说,吸引教师来这里并不难,尽管有些新教师第一次来圣昆廷监狱感到紧张。

"When I talk to people about this work, very often they assume that the students are very aggressive and very difficult, all the stereotypes people have in their minds about people who are incarcerated," says Lewen. "They assume they're a lot of troublemakers and are goofing off and they don't want to do their work. That stereotype has nothing to do with reality."
她说:“当我为他们做介绍时,他们往往以为这里的学生具有攻击性,难对付。他们对被关押的犯人存在各种各样的偏见。他们以为会遇到很多调皮捣蛋、游手好闲、不肯工作的人。这个偏见和现实毫无关系。”

Sookyoung Lee teaches a class on critical thinking and research. She finds her students are curious and engaged.
苏克扬·李正在教批判思维和研究课程。她说,她的学生非常好奇,而且全神贯注。

"I'm super surprised at how nice the students are. Most of the times, students are extremely respectful, way more motivated than the Cal [University of California at Berkeley] undergrads," says Lee. "It's always a pleasure for the teachers when the students are not taking learning for granted."
她说:“这些学生的良好表现特别令我惊讶。大多数时候,他们非常有礼貌,比加州的本科生更有学习动力。当学生不把学习当作理所当然的时候,这对老师来说总是一件快乐的事情。”

Hope for the future

Charles Spence is serving a life sentence in San Quentin and has a few more courses left to finish his associate's degree. He hopes to be paroled some day and wants to earn his master's degree in psychology.
查尔斯·斯宾斯被判无期徒刑。他还有几门课就能完成副学士学位了。

"This experience really has changed my life. It's given me a lot of tools on how to express myself," says Spence. "This program is really rare in the prison setting, so I'm really lucky. All of the guys feel the same. We're really lucky to have the opportunity to get education, especially the way the economy is now. The odds are stacked against us when we get out, being convicted felons. This actually gives us a lot of hope and hopefully will help us succeed when we walk out the door."
他说:“这个经历改变了我的生活,它给了我很多自我表达的手段......”斯宾斯说:“这个计划在监狱里是非常罕见的。我真的非常幸运。这里所有的犯人都有同样的感受。特别是在目前的经济状况下,我们非常庆幸能有接受教育的机会。由于我们被判犯有重罪,今后一旦出去,势必会遇到重重阻力。这个计划真的带给我们很多希望。我希望,它在我们走出这里的时候能够帮助我们成功。”

So far, 100 San Quentin prisoners have graduated with associate's degrees and many more have continued their college studies after release. Research shows that the more education a prisoner has, the less likely he is to return to prison. Lewen says the recidivism rate among prisoners with college degrees is less than 10 percent.
迄今,已经有100名圣昆廷监狱犯人获得了副学士学位。还有更多的人在获释后继续进大学学习。研究显示,监狱犯人受的教育越多,重回监狱的可能性就越低。勒文告诉记者,拥有大学学位的监狱犯人的再犯率不到百分之10。

"I remember one student saying to me 'This college program is the best drug treatment program in the world.' And it was interesting because at first I really didn't understand what he meant," says Lewen. "And he was just saying 'This program gives you hope and to stay clean and to live a healthy life, you need to have hope.'"
她说:“我记得一个学生对我说:‘大学计划是世界上最好的戒毒计划。’这最初我并不理解他的意思。他只是说:‘这个计划带给你希望,帮助你戒绝毒品,过上健康的生活。’当你给人们提供一个过健康生活的机会,他们就会做出回应。”

The Prison University Project survives on donations and foundation grants and receives no government funding. Lewen would like to see college programs in every prison but without government support, it's not likely to happen any time soon. In the meantime, there's a long waiting list of San Quentin prisoners who want to enroll in the college program. Some day, Lewen hopes to expand her program, making a college education available for most of the 5,500 prisoners currently housed at San Quentin.
监狱大学计划没有政府资助,而靠捐款和基金会的资金维持。乔迪·勒文希望看到每座监狱都设立大学计划。但是,没有政府支持,这不大可能很快实现。与此同时,希望注册大学计划的圣昆廷犯人有一个很长的等候名单。勒文希望扩大这个计划,有朝一日使目前被关押在这个监狱的5,500名犯人中的大多数人都能接受大学教育。