Common Good Atlanta exists to enrich the community's common good by providing access to higher education, especially to incarcerated people and their families.

Our Mission:

Common Good Atlanta provides incarcerated people with broad, democratic access to higher education so they can develop a better understanding of both themselves and the societal forces at work around them. 


Common Good Atlanta

TEACHES college classes to incarcerated people

CONNECTS  Atlanta's best college faculty 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 incarcerated people to produce the highest levels of artistic work and scholarship

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Our Students

"Common Good Atlanta is a diverse group of passionate, ambitious students that are capable of renaming the world. As scholars we work to break through stereotypes and constraints, by growing and expressing ourselves academically. By working through rigorous academic challenges in a creative and scholarly manner, we have transformed and challenged ourselves through humanizing experiences, which in some instances has saved our lives. The results of our work is demonstrated by a body of academic achievements that now stand archived in prominent institutions of higher learning and in several journals and periodicals."

- Phillips State Prison Scholars' Identity Statement


Our Impact

  • 200+ incarcerated men and women have completed a course through Common Good Atlanta

  • 11 consecutive years of programming

  • 4,000+ hours of college classes taught

  • Over 35 full-semester courses offered since 2009

  • 50+ faculty from Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Emory University, Morehouse College, Kennesaw State, and Clemson University have taught at the prison

  • Writing Studio programs offered at all three locations, with tutors from Spelman, Morehouse, Emory, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State

  • 15 combined classes with undergraduates from Georgia State, Emory, and Georgia Tech



Hours Taught

Over 50 professors from six universities have taught thousands of hours of college level courses to incarcerated men and women across Georgia.



Years Serving Incarcerated


Beginning at Phillips State Prison, Common Good Atlanta has expanded its work into two other prison facilities, Metro Reentry Facility and Whitworth Women's Facility.



College Courses Taught

Including Shakespeare, Memoir Writing, Nonviolent Political Theory, Neuroscience, and Algebra.


Our Programs

Common Good Atlanta offers a range of college level courses.



Shakespeare and Law
The Brother's Karamazov
Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
World Literature
Literature and Empathy
Literary Life Writing
Shakespeare: Identity and Anxiety
The Shorter Works of Herman Melville
Law and Literature
Trickster Tales
Literature and Exile

Science & Mathematics




U.S. History Through The Lens of Labor
Critical Theory
Globalism and Identity
Nonviolent Political Theory
Primary Research and Ethnography
Philosophy of Time
Utopia and Dystopia
Approaches to Justice
Academic Argument


English 1101 and 1102
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing: Flash Fictions
Creative Writing: Fictions
Writing Creative Nonfiction
Memoir Writing Workshop
Academic Writing


Make a Donation

Your contribution helps us provide higher education to incarcerated men and women across Georgia.