In August and September 2018, prisoners in at least 30 prisons across 16 states engaged in strike actions. Through a quiz, reading, and discussion, students learn some facts about U.S. prisons and recent prison protests. 

The U.S. has more people detained while awaiting trial than any other country in the world. In this lesson, students explore the issue of cash bail, why some criminal justice reform advocates argue for ending it, and what has happened in cities and states that have ended cash bail.  

Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow changed the conversation about race, racism, and incarceration in this country. In this activity, students explore Alexander’s argument that our criminal justice system has relegated millions of people of color to a permanent second–class status, and...

Should we abolish prisons? Students learn about and discuss the history of calls for prison abolition and consider alternative approaches, including restorative justice.  

Students explore the growing trend of prison privatization and concerns about youth imprisonment.

Two student readings provide a brief history of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, explore arguments for and against the facility, and examine the evolving debate about it during the Obama administration. Discussion questions follow

Two readings and accompanying activities explore whether the torture of prisoners is the result of a few individuals acting alone or of broader government decisions.

Have U.S. forces violated international law in their treatment of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, & Guantanamo? Has that treatment amounted to torture or war crimes? If so, who should be held responsible? Here, we assemble a wide collection of excerpts from original materials to use as a basis for...

The international scandal has raised profound questions for the citizens of our country. Our introductory lesson on the prisoner torture issue includes a student reading and opening and concluding exercises.

A student reading explores the debate over the agency's "enhanced interrogation techniques." Instructions for how to formulate questions for a student inquiry follow.