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Adnan Syed Now Works At Georgetown University’s Prison Education Program


Adnan Syed, freed this fall after more than two decades in prison, is now working with Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative, the university announced this week.

Syed, now 41, started as a program associate earlier this month at PJI — a program that offers education and training programs for incarcerated individuals and other residents who have exited prison. In his role, he’ll be supporting the the program’s Making an Exoneree class, a group of students and faculty who examine wrongful convictions and create short documentaries about the cases — a practice Syed is all too familiar with.

Syed’s 2000 arrest and murder conviction for the killing of his high school classmate, 18-year-old Hae Min Lee, became the subject of the hit 2014 podcast series Serial. In September 2022, the Baltimore City state’s attorney’s office filed a motion asking a judge to overturn Syed’s conviction, after uncovering new information and losing “confidence in the integrity of the conviction.” Days later — and after 23 years maintaining his innocence — Syed was freed. A judge vacated the conviction, and in October, prosecutors dropped the charges against him.

While incarcerated at a Maryland prison, Syed was one of 25 students in Georgetown’s Bachelor of Liberal Arts program, a 120-credit degree launched by PJI earlier this year. It’s an expansion of the university’s Prison Scholars Program, which runs courses at the DC Jail, that offers residents a class module modeled after the university’s same on-campus degree offerings. According to Georgetown, Syed took classes in philosophy, statistics and writing.

Spokespeople for PJI did not immediately return DCist/WAMU’s request for comment, and told the Washington Post that Syed is currently unavailable for interviews.

“To go from prison to being a Georgetown student and then to actually be on campus on a pathway to work for Georgetown at the Prisons and Justice Initiative, it’s a full circle moment,” Syed said in a university write-up about his new job. “PJI changed my life. It changed my family’s life. Hopefully I can have the same kind of impact on others.”

This fall, the university expanded the program to include women — making it what the school says is the only mixed-gender degree program for incarcerated individuals — and it plans to enroll over 125 students in the next five years.

On his second day of work at PJI, Syed visited the the DC Jail for the Prison Scholars’ end-of-semester celebration, according to the university. He was their keynote speaker.

The post Adnan Syed Now Works At Georgetown University’s Prison Education Program appeared first on DCist.

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