Inspiring Educators: Donnell Hughes. Bard Prison Initiative. A Second Chance.
This is a story of redemption. This is a story of Donnell Hughes. His story will challenge your concept of forgiveness, the value of education, the power of optimism, and the dedicated educators who have never forgotten the promise to the forgotten.
NPR Ed Interview with a Recent BPI Alumnus: A Former Drug Dealer Gives a Great Defense of the Liberal Arts
In preparation for my visit to the 11th annual commencement ceremony of the Bard Prison Initiative, I sat down for a conversation with Donnell Hughes, an alumnus of the program. BPI, as it's called, gives inmates at six prisons around New York state the opportunity to study in person with professors not only from Bard College, but from MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Vassar and local community colleges.
BPI Featured on NPR's Marketplace: In Prison and Getting an Education
In a classroom, about a dozen men are discussing "The Odyssey," talking about the part where Odysseus comes home after being away for so long. It’s hard not to imagine that the story has an added poignancy for them, students in the Bard College program at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, a prison in upstate New York.
Cuomo Seeks Private Funds for “Prison University” Plan
Governor Cuomo dropped his plan to provide state-funded post-secondary education for New York State inmates, after some legislators rallied against the proposal throughout late February. Now, reports say he is trying to find private funding for privately funded non-profits that already bring college tuition to state prisons.
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.
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.
The Leonard Lopate Show
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.
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.
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.>
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.