BSU student teaches physics class to inmates at Idaho's prison

Posted at 10:32 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 00:32:29-05

BOISE, Idaho — A Boise State student is bringing physics class to prison.

The Idaho State Correctional Institution already offers classes for inmates to obtain their GED, but beyond that, the prison relies solely on volunteers to help generate interest in education.

Kirk Long is a senior at Boise State University who volunteers several hours each week teaching physics and coding classes to inmates.

“If I was in prison I’d probably be pretty bored and I’d probably want to learn,” said Kirk Long, senior at Boise State and volunteer at ISCI.

Each Friday Kirk brings with him an experiment to do with the male inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, hoping to stimulate interest in GED’s for inmates that don’t have them, but also help prepare the medium security inmates for life outside prison.

According to Deputy Warden of Operations Randy Valley, 97 Percent of the inmates at ISCI will re-enter society.

“We try to find as many opportunities for these guys to do something outside of just sitting around as we can, and these things draw people in. The more you’re in here working on your education, the less opportunity you have to get in trouble,” said Valley.

That's why the prison provides these classes, relying solely on volunteers to teach them.

"It's intriguing, it's fun, it's entertaining, um, and so it's a draw, it brings those people in, and offers things that's difficult for us to provide," said Valley.

The classes are available to all 1450 inmates at ISCI on a voluntary basis.

The prison is always looking for volunteers willing to teach any variety of subjects to the inmates, so if you want to volunteer you can apply here.