It hasn't happened to me for awhile, but I recall my last encounter with a classroom Prisoner! I was teaching an 8 hours Legislative Awareness course to a group of project managers and field coordinators. The course focused on OH&S and environmental legal requirements that should be considered over the lifecycle of a project - from design to construction.
I thought the topic was enthralling so imagine my surprise when one student was visibly unhappy to be in the room. He grunted when I asked for phones to be turned off, and I saw some eye rolling when I talked about the importance of Alberta Prime Contractor legislation.
I decided to change tactics a bit, and started a group discussion on some prime contractor convictions. I asked him if he was surprised at the fine. "Yep, too low" was the response.
Throughout the morning, I encouraged everyone to participate in class discussions - and gradually my prisoner became engaged, especially when he figured out that there was something in it for him! Due Diligence... Obviously one of my favorite topics. Once this guy realized that his family may not be going on vacation to Disney, because he had to pay a fine for something he did at work, he became a Learner.
As an instructor, it is my job to evaluate who in the classroom are the prisoners and work on changing them to learners. Usually this involves convincing them that you have something worthwhile to share, that they should know about. This will make the learning experience even better for the other students as well.