Common Good Atlanta: Breaking Down the Walls of Mass Incarceration| 56mins
Director: Hal Jacobs | Producer: Hal Jacobs
Focus Years: 2022 | Country: United States
Incarcerated students and college professors have described Common Good Atlanta as one of the most powerful, transformative learning experiences they've ever been involved in. This 2022 documentary (57 min.) shows the power of the liberal arts to restore hope and dignity in this age of mass incarceration.
In 2008, Sarah Higinbotham, while working on her Ph.D at Georgia State University, wanted to teach a literature class in a Georgia prison. Much to her surprise, she discovered that no college education programs existed in Georgia prisons at the time. So she started one.
Incarcerated men signed up for her no-credit classes to study Shakespeare, Milton, Baldwin, and more on a college level.
One class led to another.
In 2010 she was joined by Atlanta musician and GSU writing instructor Bill Taft.
The word got out. Faculty at GSU and elsewhere asked if they could join Sarah and Bill to teach in the prison.
Today, Common Good Atlanta includes over 100 professors from area colleges and 700 incarcerated students have joined together in four prisons and a downtown Atlanta class to participate in a liberal arts education.