Salisbury University students on campus

Eastern Correctional Institution Program

In the ECI (Eastern Correctional Institution) Program, students meet with people incarcerated at a local medium-security prison in a book discussion groups and via supporting the ECI Ethics Bowl team. There they discuss thinkers such as Socrates and Sartre, and themes such as love, freedom, and justice, as well as developing skills together in articulating the nature of right and wrong actions and ethical decision making. In the process, students learn unexpected lessons about themselves and the world beyond the classroom, providing not only exposure to the experience of incarceration, but also how meaningful dialogue and exchange can raise equally profound questions of repair after harm, stigma, our position in society, and forgiveness.

Download more information, including policies, program application, waiver, and a list of currently available books.

Interested, or have questions? Contact Dr. Timothy Stock (410-677-5073).

Submit completed applications to Dr. Stock.

Delmarva Public Media interviewed Dr. Stock and people who are incarcerated at ECI about our book discussion and ethics groups. Listen to the news stories here (or below):

Prisoners Talk Philosophy

Salisbury University's philosophy department is providing a program for prisoners at the Eastern Shore Correctional Institution. Host Bryan Russo explores how it works and its benefits.

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Two Prisoner’s Stories

Host Bryan Russo talks with two inmates at the Eastern Shore Correctional Institution about their experience as they prepare to leave prison life.

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Philosophy & the Prisoner

Salisbury University has been conducting a philosophy program for the inmates at the Eastern Correctional Institution. Host Bryan Russo talks with Professor Tim Stock in the SU philosophy department about the significance of the program.

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Here’s what some recent students had to say about their experience in the ECI Program:

“In these small and intimate discussions within humble settings, students and prisoners participate in something very real and very alive. [... ] The ECI group discussions remind us that philosophizing is not [an] academic practice with little or no relevance to the common person. Each and every person who participates in this program actively engages with others in ways that could not be anticipated. It is a wonderful program, and it has changed my life.”
– Nate Dorman

“[It is in] brief moments, when I am not only a twenty-some year old college student talking with a twenty-some year old inmate about Socrates, Gandhi, Shakespeare, Poe, King or Dostoevsky, when I am not [ ... ] teaching, but learning the truth, that this program affirms its value. The ECI program [allowed me] the opportunity to discuss [ ... ] subjects such as freedom, bondage, violence, and non-violence [ ... ] with individuals for whom they are imminent situations, [and] has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.” – Jon Wirth