Communication Arts

Tom Smeed and Cathy Fisher lead the public speaking and debate classes.   As a business owner Tom relies on the power of words and the skills of closing a sale.  Cathy is a former forensics coach who appreciates the value of making a strong argument with words.

Public Speaking

Good public speaking skills are required in all areas of life.  In this class inmate participants learn how to express themselves verbally in an effective manner.  They learn communication techniques that help them engage and hold other’s attention.  These skills are as helpful on the yard as they are at a parole review board hearing.


Mastering the skills of discussion by presenting both the pro and the con side of an argument helps inmates to think quickly and to choose their words carefully.  Critical thinking and persuasive language are the tools of a good debater.  Learning to make their point with words is an invaluable skill in any walk of life.

Current Events

The current events class held in the max unit at Lansing Correctional Facility encourages men to stay up-to-date with the world outside the walls. Spirited discussion about what is going on in the world today provides opportunity for participants to fine tune their conversational skills, learning to craft supportive and oppositional comments and to deliver them in a productive way to encourage positive interactions with others.