Some Africans are studying their way out of prison

Morris Kaberia was on Kenya's death row and feeling suicidal when he came across a program that eventually set him free.

The former police officer had been imprisoned for violent robbery, and his protests that he had been framed went unanswered. Then he heard about the African Prisons Project, which is turning even illiterate prisoners into their own legal advocates in countries where such assistance is desperately rare.

In September, the 47-year-old was released after representing himself in court. He is now pursuing a law degree from the University of London. "Joining the program is actually the thing which gave me my life back," he said. "I saw that there...