Since 2014, over 30 volunteer instructors have conducted over 50 Inside Literature courses, reaching over 1,000 students. We have taught books from all over the world, including Mexico, Russia, Iraq, Columbia, Pakistan, England, Cuba, Germany, France, & Australia.


Our Mission

We foster community ties, critical engagement, and personal growth through the collective study of literature with incarcerated persons.

To be intellectually stimulated as we were along with the feeling of doing something productive was such a gift. I feel like classes such as these set and example of what each inmate has the potential to become. Inside Literature got me moving in the right direction.
— Student Evaluation

Core Values


We believe literature is primarily a meeting place, secondarily a professional discipline. We believe in a student-centered approach to encourage learning from others through engagement with literature. Dialogue is an essential aspect of the program.



Literature provides an opportunity for self-reflection, both when it is read and when it is discussed. Engaging with literature provides opportunities for self-discovery, self-efficacy, and critical thinking.


Inside Literature fosters human connection in the meeting ground of the literary text. Both University of Texas participants and those from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office have something to learn and something to teach in our program.



Above and beyond the professional integrity mandated by a career in the Humanities, Inside Literature is committed to contributing to the community as educators to make the study of literature available to as wide an audience as possible.