Behind a fortress wall and razor wire and a few feet away from California‘s death row, students at one of the country’s most unique colleges discuss the 9/11 attacks and issues of morality, identity and nationalism.
Dressed in matching blue uniforms, the students only break from their discussion when a guard enters the classroom, calling out each man’s last name and waiting for them to reply with the last two digits of their inmate number.
They are students at Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin State Prison, the first accredited junior college in the country based behind bars. Inmates can take classes in literature, astronomy, American government, precalculus and others to earn an Associate of Arts degree.
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