Criminal Justice

Project Community students lead collaborative workshops focused on co-learning and personal growth with people that are incarcerated to provide a creative space to express their emotions, ideas, and life experiences through art or creative writing. These sites require a high level of maturity and dedication, and offer a rare opportunity to work directly within jails and prisons. All of our criminal justice sites are conducted at correctional facilities and require volunteers to pass an extensive background check. Students who think they may not be eligible to participate are strongly encouraged to select another site in a different program area.

Students must obtain an override to register for all Criminal Justice sections. Please note the section name and number when requesting an override.


Gus Harrison Prison – Men’s Creative Writing Workshops (Section 018)

What: Students will co-lead creative writing workshops at the Gus Harrison South Correctional Facility. The facility is a minimum-security prison that houses adult male prisoners. At the prison, students will help the workshop participants enhance their writing skills and creatively communicate their ideas. Students will develop their own lesson plans using recommended creative writing activities with a group 3-4 with their fellow peers, and will co-facilitate workshops with up to 22 men on a weekly basis. No previous experience is necessary, but students must be comfortable with co-leading creative writing workshops inside of a prison, and traveling an hour away for this section.

Who: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate in this section, due to volunteer requirements at the site.

When: In addition to the scheduled on-campus class time, students will be expected to go to site on Tuesday evenings 5:30-9:30pm (includes driving time).

Where: Gus Harrison Prison, 2727 E Beecher St, Adrian, MI 49221

TransportationNo bus route available; 53 min. drive; qualifies for CEAL-Ride priority. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.

Orientation/Training: An orientation session at Gus Harrison Prison will be scheduled prior to beginning the creative writing workshops.


Washtenaw County Jail – Men’s and Women’s Creative Writing Workshops (Section 019)

What: Project Community students will work at the Washtenaw County Jail, a correctional facility for adult offenders. This site will involve conducting creative writing workshops for male or female inmates in minimum-security blocks. Students will collaborate in groups of 3-4 with their fellow peers to develop lesson plans using recommended creative writing activities, and will work with up to approximately 20 participants on a weekly basis. No former creative writing experience is necessary, just enthusiasm and an open mind!

Who: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate in this section, due to volunteer requirements at the site.

When: Volunteers should choose whether they are interested in the Men’s or Women’s workshop:
MEN’S Workshop: Volunteers will be expected at site 6:15-8:15pm on Mondays. Students must allow for driving time, beginning at 5:45pm on Mondays. Groups that arrive late to the facility may not be allowed to enter.
WOMEN’S Workshop: Volunteers will be expected at site 6:30-8:30pm on Tuesdays. Students must allow for driving time, beginning at 5:45pm on Tuesday. Groups that arrive late to the facility may not be allowed to enter.

Where: Washtenaw County Jail, 2201 Hogback Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Transportation: 15-20 minute drive; 24 min bus (#4); qualifies for CEAL-Ride. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.

Orientation/Training:  An orientation session at Washtenaw County Jail will be scheduled prior to beginning the creative writing workshops.


Washtenaw County Jail – Men’s and Women’s Art Workshops (Section 020)

What: Students will engage in the artistic process with men and women that are currently at the Washtenaw County Jail.  This site is designed to use art as a humanizing tool to stimulate dialogue with people that are experiencing incarceration. Students will use art to encourage self-reflection, self-expression, and hope. This site involves co-facilitating a weekly creative arts workshop with a group of 3-4 of your fellow peers using recommended art activities for up to 20 workshop participants. While students that sign-up for this site are not required to have an extensive art background, students skilled in art are strongly encouraged to register for this course.

Who: Students must be at least 18 years old to participate in this section, due to volunteer requirements at the site.

When: Volunteers should choose whether they are interested in the Men’s or Women’s workshop:
MEN’S Workshop: Students will be expected at site 6:00-8:00pm on Tuesdays. Students must allow for driving time, beginning at 5:30pm on Tuesdays. Groups that arrive late to the facility may not be allowed to enter.
WOMEN’S Workshop: Students will be expected at site 6:30-8:30pm on Mondays. Students must allow for driving time, beginning at 5:45pm on Monday. Groups that arrive late to the facility may not be allowed to enter.

Where: Washtenaw County Jail, 2201 Hogback Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Transportation: 15-20 minute drive; 24 min bus (#4); qualifies for CEAL-Ride. Carpooling is strongly encouraged.

Orientation/Training: An orientation session at Washtenaw County Jail will be scheduled prior to beginning the art workshops.


Questions about these sites? Please contact pcinfo@umich.edu