In the course of a group discussion, five student members of New York University’s Prison Education Program (PEP) reflect on their transition from prison inmates and students to their training as peer researchers in the PEP Research Lab. They trade their experiences of life on the inside, debunking a variety of public myths about the welfare and treatment of those caught within the prison system. Discussing their postcarceral roles as students and researchers, they analyze the differences between the two, drawing particular attention to the social status accorded to researchers. Building on the independence and resources offered by PEP’s Research Lab, they describe the initiatives they have taken to launch new paths of inquiry into carceral life and the financial and social burdens that continue to afflict the formerly incarcerated upon reentry.

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