Lancaster Prison Program

"Fundamentally, I believe every human being has the right to an education." - Prof Sarah Black

In 2016, the Department of Communication Studies at Cal State Los Angeles became the first
department in California to hold classes inside a maximum-security prison facility, offering
incarcerated inmates the opportunity to achieve a bachelor's degree in Communication. Cal State
LA is one of 67 post-secondary institutions to participate in the Second Chance Pell Program,
and the only one that offers a Communication BA. Classes are held at the California State Prison
in Lancaster CA, with the first cohort consisting of 22 students.

The Prison BA Program was founded by Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy who is also the creator of the "Words Uncaged" project and book series.

After the flourishing success of Words UnCaged from the English department more professors along with classes have been taught through the Communication Department for inmates to obtain their Bachelor’s Degree.

Click here to view the Prison BA Journal

This journal provides incarcerated Cal State LA students in Lancaster Prison the opportunity to publish their academic work and a chance to have their research and writing seen by other academics in our field of study - including students, faculty, and researchers. We hope that by creating a dialogue through the publication of this journal we can better address the problem of mass incarceration.

Current and previous courses have been taught by the following professors:

Dr. Kamran Afary - Interpersonal Communication/Oral Communication

Professor Sarah Black - Applied Writing in Communication

Professor Frances Chee - Argumentation

Dr. Nina F. O'Brien - Social Science Theories of Communication.

Dr. Cynthia Wang - Intercultural Communication