By Meghan Bobrowsky, CalMatters
Fifteen years ago, Kenny Butler was at a low point. He had just been sentenced to life in prison.
Now Butler, 47, is on track to earn his bachelor’s degree through a new program at Pitzer College, a small private liberal arts school in Southern California.
The program, which began last December and which the school says is the first of its kind in the nation, is based on Inside Out curriculum — a type of teaching that brings college students and professors into prisons to learn alongside incarcerated students. Pitzer, a selective school that accepts fewer than 20% of applicants, started the Inside Out program with the goal of helping incarcerated students better engage with coursework and make connections with the outside world — a key factor in reintegrating back into society.