MTC Alumni, Joseph Krauter

Alumni Spotlight: Joseph Krauter

By Joseph Krauter | June 25, 2020

Many of our former students remain committed to a life of service upon paroling and are often strong advocates for those still inside. We’re proud to share the following reflection from our alumni community.

I joined the Prison University Project because I wanted to continue learning.

Whenever I’m not learning something, I feel like I start drowning.

I wanted to accomplish a personal goal besides getting out of prison on time; the Prison University Project was helping me do that by offering a degree.

While I was in college, I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s disorder). This opened up a whole new facet of my life and learnings. The Prison University Project helped me to better understand my learning needs and helped me learn in fields that I believed I couldn’t because of my condition.

It also helped me communicate and advocate to the San Quentin’s administration for seriously needed things like eyeglasses.

Prison University Project staff also treated me like a person, like a real human rather than a third-rate animal that most of the custody staff treated all of us like in the prison system; something to be tolerated and not treated humanely.

I paroled on December 4, 2019. I got to hug all my favorite Prison University Project staff members that day. it was a great day for me. Since then, I’ve worked side by side with them to make care packages for the inmate population of San Quentin. I’ve kept in touch and made fast friends.

Even now Prison University Project staff members are helping me find stable work and hopefully housing here in the city of San Francisco.

I didn’t graduate inside, but I got to take my learnings with me and now I am transferring to San Francisco State; with credits that I earned, I only have to take one class before I can focus solely on a double major in the arts.

Thank you, Prison University Project, for always.

Please note that the Prison University Project became Mount Tamalpais College in September 2020.