Photo by Allison Jones

The OPEN MINDS Program

shared inquiries, shared hope


In this classroom, we are all equals, classmates, incarcerated and free, we are equal.

Michelle Webb, VCU student

OPEN MINDS is a college program sponsored by the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office and Virginia Commonwealth University offering dual enrollment classes held at the Richmond City Jail. These classes challenge participants to think critically about the social problems embedded in our current criminal justice system. All students learn to dialogue respectfully and imaginatively about their shared humanity; to write creatively and analytically in search of common ground; and to link the liberal arts to personal experience in meaningful ways so that we may work together to build positive change.

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