Bennett-Armistead, Nichols cited in Kennebec Journal story about UMA prison education partnership
Associate professor of literacy education Susan Bennett-Armistead and professor of literacy education William Dee Nichols talked to the Kennebec Journal about educating people behind bars. In a story about the University of Maine at Augusta’s Prison Education Partnership Program with the Maine Department of Corrections, Bennett-Armistead and Nichols discussed a program they are involved with at the Penobscot County Jail. In 2017, the literacy faculty members partnered with Riverside Adult Education Partnership and Literacy Volunteers of Bangor to offer education and other services to female inmates, including help completing high school and preparing for college, child development and parenting classes, and individual tutoring in reading and writing. “These women really just had their worst day ever, and we want to move past that — we mostly don’t care about that. We want them to move forward,” Bennett-Armistead said. Both Bennett-Armistead and Nichols talked about how education programs can “transform” lives for incarcerated people. “It’s the power of what these educational opportunities provide. They can show it (certificate or degree) to loved ones and show that they are trying to change,” said Nichols.