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Around the Nation

Around the Nation

N.Y. Governor Says College For Inmates Will Pay Of For Taxpayers

America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.

Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.  

Prison Degree

Prison Degree

Life After Lockdown: Can getting an education behind bars keep you from going back?

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced funding for college classes in 10 New York State prisons, ensuring that inmates can earn an Associate's degree or Bachelor's degree in 2 or 3 years.

Studies show that ex-offenders who are educated can get jobs and more easily turn their lives around in a positive direction. We are taking a big picture look at what it's like for people coming home from prison. What are the biggest challenges? What makes them go back to their old ways? What are the actions of those who successfully reinvent their lives and never go back? We plan to talk about every aspect of this challenge that affects so many (mostly) young men.

UpFront – WMUA, 91.1 FM

An Interview with Ellen Condliffe

BPI Distinguished Fellow Ellen Lagemann was interviewed about BPI by Daria Fisk on UpFront – WMUA, 91.1 fm, December 12, 2012.  

All Things Considered

Bard Conservatory Orchestra Performs At Local Prison

Lara Pellegrinelli interviews BPI Executive Director Max Kenner, a BPI student, and a Bard College student in her story about the Bard Conservatory Orchestra’s performance in Eastern Correctional Facility, which is believed to be the first time a full orchestra has performed within an American prison. The piece aired on December 4, 2009.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Teaching Inmates

An interview with BPI Executive Director Max Kenner and BPI Alumnus Justice Walston. Lopate, Kenner, and Walston discuss the withdrawal of public support for higher education in prisons during the mid-1990s, the subsequent entry of Bard College into the New York State prison system, and the merits of higher education in prison. The piece aired on November 4, 2008.

Fresh Air

Turning Orderly Lives into Chaos

Terry Gross interviews two-time National Book Award nominee Scott Spencer, who talks about his experience teaching fiction writing for the Bard Prison Initiative.>

German Public Radio

German Public Radio

"Meine Zukunft: Studieren Hinter Gittern"
"My Future: Studying Behind Bars"

German Public Radio reporter Kateri Jochum visits a first-year grammar class at Bayview Correctional Facility for women in Manahattan. She talks to current students and faculty members about the daily realities of teaching and studying at Bayview, and meets with a Bard graduate, now released, who is preparing to go back to school to earn her BA. This piece aired on February 14, 2011.


Another Look at Henry Cowell

John Schaefer and Leon Botstein discuss American composer Henry Cowell, crime, punishment, and the arts, as Botstein reflects on the Bard Prison Initiative.