Article by outside student Katelyn at Portland State University

This article, Prisons of Our Own Making, is a fabulous piece of writing about Inside-Out. Katelyn's blog is about the Portland State University class taught at Coffee Creek Correctional Institute. She writes movingly about the experience of entering a prison, and specifically a women's prison, and the emotions surrounding her class.

Katelyn gave permission to re-publish an excerpt from her article:

These three classmates made big enough mistakes to land them in prison. Still, I can’t help but think that the rest of us played a hand in their fall. If Tami had proper shelter and a basic education, would she have turned to crime? If Jenny had access to health care, would she have shoved that needle in her arm the first time? If Lisa hadn’t lost her job due to a financial crisis and had help getting back on her feet, would she have succumbed to the downward spiral in which she found herself? It’s easy to speculate—and harder to change—a system that focuses on cleaning up messes rather than preventing them from occurring in the first place. (Names have been changed)

Please visit her article here: Prisons of Our Own Making