Building Bridges Within Walls

Learning Leaders in a Maximum-Security Prison


Prisons may seem an unusual place for learning leaders to develop, mature and mentor others, but many prisoners strive while serving their sentences to make positive contributions to their communities both inside and outside of the prison walls. In this article, Michelle Inderbitzin uses Appreciative Inquiry to explore how self-taught learning leaders develop and thrive within a maximum-security men’s prison in the United States.


Author: Michelle Inderbitzin

Michelle Inderbitzin primarily studies and focuses her work around prison culture, juvenile justice and transformative education. Along with her on-campus classes on deviance and juvenile delinquency at Oregon State University, she regularly teaches classes and volunteers in state youth correctional facilities and Oregon’s maximum-security prison for men.


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