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Berkshire Celebrates Graduates of Inside-Out Program

For the last twelve years, the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office has collaborated with the Williams College Inside-Out Program in bringing college-level classes to incarcerated individuals. The class involvement is comprised of students from Williams College, a professor, and a group of inmates, who together interact with each other creating a unique educational experience.

Sheriff Bowler hands certificates to graduates.

This year, the class focus was on the written word, and how it relates to spirituality. The class runs for three months and is typically a group discussion among all students, followed by some written assignments. This year’s class was a huge success in being able to break down the internal and external barriers to communication, among a group of individuals who came from different backgrounds with their personal stories not yet told.

A graduation ceremony for the inmates was held who completed the course. Certificates were handed out by Sheriff Thomas Bowler, Professor Zaid Adhami, and the Director of the Center of Learning in Action, Paula Consolini. Stories were shared by the students and inmates on how the course had established a different way of thinking, and a different outlook on challenges already experienced by both.

For their participation, each inmate was given college credit so that they can pursue higher education.

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