The Liberal Arts in Prison Program started in the spring of 2003 as a creative writing workshop at the Newton Correctional Facility. Howard Burkle, professor emeritus of religious studies, taught the first course, which included four Grinnell student participants. When Professor Burkle could not continue teaching the following semester, Laura Matter '05 and Ursula Hill '05 facilitated the program's transition into a student-run, student-staffed volunteer program. The following years have seen a steady and radical expansion in the program: course offerings expanded from creative writing to other creative arts courses, and then to topics across the liberal arts; students began offering courses at the Iowa Correctional Institute for Women, and faculty began giving a series of once-a-week lectures. In the fall of 2008, the college hired a full-time coordinator and offered its first college-level course at Newton; in spring 2009, the faculty approved a 5-year pilot to develop and implement a First Year of College Program at the Newton Correctional Facility
A current program summary, from Fall 2009 to Summer 2012 can be found below, under Attachments.