CU-Mansfield students and faculty tour Lewisburg Prison



An interdisciplinary contingent of 11 Commonwealth University-Mansfield students toured U.S. Penitentiary (USP), Lewisburg on Thursday, Feb. 29. The students were accompanied by Dr. Justin Crowl, Department of Anthropology, Criminal Justice and Sociology, and Tiffany Welch and Lisa Kunzmann, Department of Social Work.

For most of the students, all of whom are criminal justice or social work majors, it was the first time they had visited a federal prison.

The prison, known as “The Big House,” is a medium-security federal prison operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The tour was led by Zane Pardoe, USP Lewisburg supervisor of education, and Michael Hackenburg, senior officer specialist. Students were given a tour of the facility and learned about the history of the prison, prison culture, programs for inmates and careers in corrections. They were able to see the law library, dining hall, gymnasium, weight room and inmate housing units and had the chance to speak with the prison chaplain, staff and inmates.

Students who attended the trip, were Strauss Perilus, of Blandon; Mackenzie Roio, of Scranton; Sh’Nell Harley, of Philadelphia; Emma DeGraw, of Elmira, New York; Brandon Schrader, of Canton; Sarah Shupp, of Beavertown; Brock Mayer, of Williamsport; Owen Lilley, of New Columbia; Hope Shay, of Sayre; Sandra Lemus, of Long Branch, New Jersey; and Mya Allen, of Roaring Branch.