Education: Mission Behind Bars

Until he landed in prison on a two-to three-year rap for passing a bad check, John Corpier, 32, thought of himself as "a pretty worthless fellow." The son of a Texas dirt farmer, he left school after the eighth grade, worked at a prewar Civilian Conservation Corps camp until he joined the Air Force at 17. Though he made a respectable war record as a B-17 waist gunner in Europe, he never seemed able to settle down once he had left the service. He worked at radio and TV repair jobs in Alaska, Seattle and Palo Alto, Calif., finally ended up...

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