This summer’s honors class kicked off this Wednesday with us being able to meet some amazing students from the University of Washington campus. They had a wide variety of majors and everyone looked hungry to get to work on some research. Andrew, Annabelle, Ellie, Angela, Shannon (man, I hope I got that right), Kyle, Floyd and I get to work on our part of the 3 part project – Voting for Incarcerated People. The other two projects include Virtual Reality applications and educational options for prisons (specifically this one).

In last year’s class, we introduced the VR as a concept and it gained great traction as a reentry tool. We got UW, DOC and this institution to see the value and we started working out how to put it all together. This year, we are implementing it as an educational aid. Education as a system is one of the greatest tools to reduce recidivism, so the more methods, the better. And as for voting? I’ve written about the value here before and, let’s not be stubborn about it, a couple of states let their prisoners vote. I’m super pumped to see the brilliance of these wonderful people and how this comes together, because in four weeks, we present to members of UW faculty, some state legislators and folks from DOC. Time to change a few lives in the process. Yeah, no pressure…

by Rory Andes

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