Judicial Process Class Meets Inside Prison for Women; One Student in the Unusual Class Graduated from High School in Jacksonville

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN CARTER

You could safely say his college class is quite captivating, an arresting experience.

Since early January, Alex Mincey of the Murray Hill area has been taking a Lipscomb University judicial process class that meets inside the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville each Wednesday evening.

Not only that, but half of Mincey's classmates are inmates, many with convictions for serious crimes and serving long sentences (including life) at the maximum-security prison.

Mincey, a 2003 graduate of Trinity Christian Academy in Marietta, said at first he wasn't sure if he would be separated from the inmates, but soon found out he would take the class side-by-side with the 15 prisoners - who like to stick around after class and chat with the 15 Lipscomb students for as long as possible.

"When you consider that they're in their cells sometimes for 23 hours a day, I guess it's understandable," said Mincey, 22.

Like him, many of the inmates are in their 20s, though some are older, in their 40s and 50s.

He said the class has put a human face on the prison system and shattered a lot of preconceptions. He figures the experience will serve him well in his career as an attorney, the path he's picked to pursue.

"I was excited to enroll because I knew it would give me a unique experience I could refer to throughout my life," he said.

According to Mincey, one inmate, Toni Hill, told the class that although she is serving a life sentence, she signed up and wanted to support the class because she hopes it will be continued and expanded so many other female inmates can take it or similar classes. …