As a student in Contemporary Civilizations (CC), it can be difficult to understand the relevance of a curriculum centered on ancient Greek philosophy, selections from the Bible, and early Christian and Muslim theology. Thus for my final project, I have chosen to keep a blog using a series of texts studied in the first semester of CC to examine the modern American prison system. Since every society must decide how to handle deviance and crime, this topic seemed an appropriate match for a curriculum centered largely on political philosophy. Indeed, I anticipate these CC texts will prove useful for explicating different facets of the American prison system. Perhaps more importantly, by centering my blog posts on the very current and relevant issue of mass incarceration in the United States, I hope to make clear how the CC texts I discuss hold relevance outside of a Columbia classroom. In an additional effort to make this project accessible beyond academia, I will not structure my blog posts as academic essays, but will instead combine text with videos, photos, podcasts, and links to current news articles. My blog will include an examination of the school-to-prison pipeline through the lens of Plato’s Republic, a comparison between Bartolomé de Las Casas’s indictment of enslavement and the Columbia Prison Divest movement, and a post looking at the gospel of Matthew to understand the appeal of Christianity among many prisoners. Furthermore, I will have a post considering suicide in prison through the lens of St. Augustine’s City of God and a comparison of prisoners’ coping mechanisms and the writings of the stoics. Stay tuned!