The purpose of this course is to enhance student inmates appreciation of what it means to be an American. To achieve this objective, inmates will be provided the opportunity to understand the origins and purpose of the American experiment in self-government. As Americans, individuals are provided with unique opportunities to live dignified and prosperous lives. This is essentially what the Founding generation had in mind when it devised the American political order. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, we are all endowed with certain “…unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” By participating in this course inmates should come to realize their responsibilities as Americans along with the benefits of living up to those responsibilities.
inmates will begin with a close examination of the preamble to the Declaration of Independence and continue by studying source documents including the United States Constitution, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, and other key materials. At the conclusion of the class, inmates will be asked to write an essay on the topic, “What does it mean to be an American?”