Pitt Magazine Feature on the Pitt Prison Education Project

To get to class each week, Matthew Broocke and 15 of his peers boarded a van in Pittsburgh and traveled nearly 50 miles south, beside the winding path of the Monongahela River, to a place few college students ever imagine visiting. Their destination: the State Correctional Institute—Fayette, a maximum-security prison.

It took them more than 90 minutes to reach its high gates.

Meanwhile, some of their classmates, like Sharef, had a much shorter commute. They were already on the inside.