The Reasonable Person Model and Prison Higher Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Men enrolled in the Education Justice Project (EJP) at the Danville Correctional Center in Illinois form a cohesive, supportive, socially engaged group of leaders within the prison. They speak out on issues relating to education and social justice among their peers and in publications, and they create opportunities within the prison to engage in collaborative action. The Reasonable Person Model (RPM) helps to explain why so many EJP students have become committed to social change and to one another. Most EJP students are long-timers who were sentenced for violent crimes. These men developed social consciences and their academic gifts prior to their enrollment in EJP but found little outlet for either until joining the program. RPM suggests that by providing them with the opportunity to engage in collaborative, meaningful work that engaged their growing competencies, the submerged inclinations of the students to be agents of positive change emerged. While the term “reasonable person model” might not be felicitous, RPM provides an orientation for liberatory work with marginalized people.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFostering reasonableness
Subtitle of host publicationsupportive environments for bringing out our best
EditorsRachel Kaplan, Avik Basu
Place of PublicationAnn Arbor, MI
PublisherMichigan Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781607853411
ISBN (Print)9781607853404, 160785340X
StatePublished - 2015


  • Social psychology
  • Environmental psychology
  • Human beings


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