Empowering the Marginalized: The Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching Communication in a Women’s Detention Facility

Rachel Clancy, Breanne Acio, Denisha Biggers, Courtney Hook, Chelsea Chapman, Dr. Luke Winslow

Abstract


Social justice can often be measured by how a society treats its incarcerated citizens. In a promising development, public opinion has evolved recently away from a punitive attitude toward criminal justice to one of rehabilitation and recovery. In turn, communication scholars are uniquely equipped to contribute to the process of reconstructing just discourses related to inmate rehabilitation. This pedological exploration takes a narrative approach to how instructors communicatively construct their experiences behind bars. Through the perspective of six volunteer instructors, we offer a unique glimpse into the complexities that can arise from teaching in incarceration settings. Our collective narratives revealed three primary themes: pedagogical paradox, connection seeking, and forward focus.

 


Keywords


immediacy, detention center, communication instruction

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