The place looks like a typical elementary school classroom. Block walls are painted white and powder blue. The clock has been decorated to look like the sun, with wavy rays of yellow light cut from construction paper. Students sit in a cluster, some at a round table, a few in wooden desk chairs.
But if the classroom looks familiar, the students do not. They are mostly middle-aged, African-American or Latino, wearing loose-fitting scrub-style uniforms. They are prisoners at the South Bay House of Correction, and they are learning to read and write.