Common Good Atlanta began in 2008 when Bill Taft and Sarah Higinbotham were graduate students at Georgia State University. They developed a program to teach college courses at a men's prison outside Atlanta, based on the belief that studying the arts and sciences will contribute to the flourishing of human dignity in a place where people are the most marginalized.

 

Originally called the "Georgia State Prison Initiative," CGA became a registered nonprofit in 2014 and 501(c)(3) in 2016. We serve as the community partner between universities and the prison.


Summary:

  • More than 100 incarcerated men have completed a course

  • 9 consecutive years of programming

  • 27 full-semester courses offered since 2009

  • 30+ faculty from Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, and Emory University have taught at the prison

  • 14 combined classes with undergraduates from Georgia State and Georgia Tech

Efficacy: 

Common Good Atlanta

  • Teaches college classes to incarcerated people

  • CONNECTS ATLANTA'S BEST COLLEGE PROFESSORS TO THE PRISON CLASSROOM

  • Educates University Students and the public about prison issues

  • Archives student work to assess improvement and to permanently document the prison students'  original work

  • DIMINISHES THE POWER OF STEREOTYPES BY GIVING INCARCERATED PEOPLE THE TOOLS NEEDED TO TELL THEIR OWN STORIES

  • Exposes undergraduates to the real-world issue of prison by means of combined classes and academic writing exchanges

  • CHALLENGES prison STUDENTS TO PRODUCE THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF ARTISTIC WORK AND SCHOLARSHIP