Inside Literature enhances students’ ties to the community while they are incarcerated and provides educational opportunities to develop reading, writing, & critical thinking skills. The collective study of literature helps to reduce feelings of isolation and increase a sense of community among inmates. As one student put it, these courses give them “something else to talk about” as well as a new way to relate to each other via the shared experience of reading. The learning community developed in the classroom extends beyond it, as students help each other with their work and engage with the material together outside of class. The ties to the wider community are enhanced by interacting with community members who are committed to their learning goals.