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Joe Lockard and Sherry Rankins-Robertson

The essay addresses the right to education for inmates and the disappearance of postsecondary education from US prisons; prison-university educational partnerships; and the potential of online programmes toward realization of education rights for US prisoners. As practical address to these issues, the article discusses an English department initiative to provide a partnership with prisons. As a creative example of how to reach all prison populations, this essay illustrates an online writing internship between undergraduate writing majors with primarily maximum-security inmates at the Penitentiary of New Mexico. By using online technology common on university campuses in the United States and elsewhere, the project has created a prison-university bridge and educational service that can be replicated and scaled upward. Such digital work spurs new social activism within university communities.