Special Reports

Nick Cannon Goes To Jail But Not For A Crime; Actor Learns With Inmates Through Howard Class


When you hear about a celebrity going to jail, one would have an active imagination as to what kind of issue this brought on. However, in the case of Nick Cannon, the actor goes to a D.C. jail where he sits down and learns with the inmates.

Nick Cannon is a Howard student and he goes where Bahiyyah Muhammad, a criminologist and assistant professor at Howard University goes. He teaches "Inside Out: Crime and Justice Behind the Wall" at the D.C. jail.

Once a week, for three hours, Nick Cannon sits down with jail inmates to examine crime and justice, cites Washington Post. So why is Cannon taking classes? He wants to hear the stories and experiences of the 14 inmates and six Howard students. All inmates are males and are on charges that include possession of drugs, arson and burglary. These inmates are scheduled to be released in the next six months. As a part of their reentry to society, they applied to Muhammad's class. But this class is not open to all inmates.

Muhammad has to interview each one. And only gets selected if he could articulate why he wanted to take the class and continue his education.

Cannon is studying Legal Communications at Howard University. Between his busy schedule in Los Angeles and New York, he commits to the schedule every Thursday at the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility.

During one class, Professor Muhammad asked each one to think about their formal and informal education backgrounds. It turns out, the inmates put their "formal education on the back burner" while the Howard students chose to pursue their majors.

And one inmate, Timothy Kelly, explains that it is the lack of education. That is the reason why. As a child, he never had any educated role models. These inmates do not know the importance of school and education.

While Nick Cannon shares his story as a young black kid. His family was more concerned about what to eat everyday than attending college. But he made a different choice. "I have best friends serving life in fed. People I grew up in the same house with serving 15 years," Cannon said. "I could have easily been in a different situation. And as all of you know, it's one mistake that separates me from you, or one mistake that you get caught for."

At the end of the class everyone, was assigned six readings and a three-page reflection paper due the following week.

Do you think that if these inmates were taught at a young age about the importance of school and education, they would not be in jail now? Sound off in the comments section!

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