Inside Literature is a Community-Based Learning approach to the Humanities. In the program, instructors teach courses in groups of two on works of enduring literary value to incarcerated persons in a pre-trial correctional facility. It provides an opportunity for community members to share their passion for literature, develop as teachers, and get involved in our community.

It is a focus on collaboration, reciprocity, reflection, and citizenship that distinguishes community-based learning. Reflection allows instructors to connect their community work with a deeper sense of civic engagement or Citizenship. Reciprocity reminds us that all participants in Inside Literature have something to learn and something to teach. Collaboration gives all participants agency to form their own learning goals and to shape their own program experiences.

We offer literature courses with both intellectual and personal outcomes: critical thinking skills developed through close reading literature; intellectual curiosity brought on by new or unfamiliar ideas; and increased confidence from discussion of the text with a close-knit learning community. Instructors propose a reading schedule; develop thoughtful discussion questions & writing assignments; and pair the text with multimodal activities or supplementary handouts.


  • Read the IL Handbook

  • Submit all required forms to the TCSO

  • Sign and submit Volunteer Contract & Code of Conduct to IL

  • Attend mandatory TCCC orientation

  • Attend mandatory IL orientation

  • Meet with co-instructor to plan the class & construct syllabus for review

  • Send your preferred schedule for your course to IL program coordinator

  • Complete course observation prior to teaching your first class

  • Provide accompanying discussion materials such as supplementary readings, vocabulary lists, reading questions, & other handouts (terms, further information, context, timeline, etc)

Course content

  • The Travis County Correctional Complex is a pre-trial facility

  • Our students’ cases are being adjudicated—they have not been convicted

  • Average length of stay is 3 months

  • 6-8 week syllabus

  • 1 main text per course or several shorter texts

  • Focus is primarily critical reading & discussion of text

  • Optional writing assignments to which the instructor gives written feedback

 Classroom setting:

  • • The Travis County Correctional Complex is a pre-trial facility

    • Average length of stay is 3 months, enrollments are subject to change in each course as some students are unable to finish a course for various reasons.  

    • The age of your students will range, we only require reading comprehension

    • The maximum enrollment for any course in Programs is 30, this number may go down as students are sometimes transferred, released, etc.

    • The maximum enrollment for any course in a Maximum security block is 15, this number may go down as well

    • TVs equipped with DVD players are available for showing media in class


  • 1-3 days a week, 60-90 minute classes

  • Minimum/Medium Security classes are generally held in the programs building which is open M-F 8:30-3:30

  • Maximum security classes are held in the blocks

  • Weekend and PM classes are possible

  • Classes are co-taught and may also have additional support from an Assistant Instructor

Interested in applying? Please follow these instructions.