When an elite private school and a prison assemble, the result is as unexpected as the convergence. In the case of Palma School (a prep school for boys) and the Correctional Training Facility (a state prison) in Salinas, Calif., working together led not only to a book club but also to a genuine bond between inmates and students. It all started with a partnership between the school and the prison -- a reading group for inmates and high school students to learn together and understand one another. The inmates, grateful for their time with the students, felt like doing something for the school in return. That's how they decided to raise money for one Palma School student who was having difficulties paying the $1,200-a-month tuition. In a joint effort, the inmates created a scholarship for the young man by saving the money they would get for a day's labor. They managed to raise $30,000 for him, even though wages can be as low as 8 cents an hour in prison. Jason Bryant, a former inmate who had an essential role in the project, said, "I'm never far from the reality that I committed a crime in 1999 that devastated a family -- several families -- and irreparably harmed my community. I keep that close to my heart, and I would hope that people can identify the power of forgiveness and the probability of restoration when people put belief in each other."

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