Inmates at the District of Columbia Jail (DC Jail) are being offered ways to improve their life through education.
The Prison Scholars Program partnered with Georgetown University in 2018 to offer male and female inmates the opportunity to receive a higher education.
The experience has changed the course of many lives and given the inmates a new sense of purpose.
Incarcerated scholar Mustafa Zulu explained that an education provides people with the tools for success.
"When you become educated and you have the know-how and tools to succeed, a life of crime isn't even an option anymore. You see better ways and have more options open up to you," he said.
Scholar and inmate Halim Flowers has set a goal of becoming a doctor and a professor.
"Education has changed the trajectory of my life…it has given me purpose as a human being," Flowers said.
And students at the Prison Scholar Program at the DC Jail have the opportunity to take Georgetown's admired "Problem of God" course.
The course introduces students to different religious traditions and points of view, while encouraging critical thinking.
Last December, the Prison Scholars Program was given a $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to extend the program to Maryland and offer bachelor's degrees.
Prison and Justice Initiative (PJI) Director Marc Howard, said the grant is offering more incarcerated men and women access to an education.
"The Scholars Program has provided access to higher education to incarcerated men and women at the DC Jail," he said. "Support from the Mellon Foundation will allow us to expand this work by reaching even more incarcerated individuals and making families stronger and communities safer."
CBN News previously reported that former reality star Kim Kardashian West was on a mission to promote prison reform.
Her new documentary "The Justice Project," was filmed at the DC Jail last July where she learned more about the Prison Scholars Program directly from students.
Everyone needs to know about this program. It’s changing lives! Every prison needs this! https://t.co/mcBzGxWtbK
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 25, 2019
The Prison Scholars Program just launched its Spring 2020 semester, which now offers three credit-bearing courses, seven non-credit courses, a weekly lecture series, and a writing center for students to use.