Press Highlights from ‘College Behind Bars’

BPI alumni and staff have been traveling around the country with the filmmakers engaging in conversations about 'College Behind Bars' and their experiences at BPI and beyond.

Thank you for having us, Washington DC, Los Angeles, New Haven, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, New York, San Francisco, Indianapolis, the Indiana Women’s Prison, San Quentin, MCI Concord and everyone that has hosted us!


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Press Highlights


Rolling Stone logo
Rolling Stone

Incarcerated People Can Do More than Beat Harvard in a Debate

“College Behind Bars,” a new PBS documentary executive-produced by Ken Burns, shines a light on a program that every major university in America should be sponsoring By Jamil Smith When you watch College Behind Bars, which began last night on PBS and concludes tonight, or any… Read More 

The Hollywood Reporter Logo
The Hollywood Reporter

‘College Behind Bars’: TV Review

Lynn Novick's four-hour PBS documentary about the Bard Prison Initiative and the impact of educational programs as part of prison reform is provocative and inspiring. It's rare that a week passes without some buried news story about states cutting back on prison education programs or… Read More 

BPI students in a classroom, film still from 'College Behind Bars'
Creative Loafing

‘College Behind Bars’ packs a rehabilitative punch

Gripping documentary spotlights Bard Prison Initiative When it comes to incarceration, the United States of America is far and away the global leader in all the major categories. Based on data compiled by watchdog organizations, such as World Prison Brief and the Prison Policy Initiative, the American criminal… Read More 

The Wall Street Journal logo
Wall Street Journal

Three Prison Inmates Beat Harvard in a Debate. Here’s What Happened Next.

When inmates in a New York maximum-security prison beat Harvard in a debate four years ago, their victory made international headlines and highlighted the intellectual talent behind bars. Now, the three debaters who outsmarted the Ivy Leaguers have a new round of accomplishments. Two have found professional footing after… Read More 

Broadcast & Radio Highlights


Brian Lehrer Show WNYC Studios Logo
The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC

Higher Education and Incarceration

The documentary filmmaker Lynn Novick and Jule Hall, a Bard College Prison Initiative alumni and program associate for the Ford Foundation, talk about Novick’s new film, “College Behind Bars.” Read More 

Making Sense, Sam Harris Podcast
Making Sense Podcast, Sam Harris

#176 – Knowledge & Redemption

Listen to Podcast A Conversation with Lynn Novick and Jule Hall In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Lynn Novick about her four-part documentary College Behind Bars. The film follows the progress of students in the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) as… Read More 

Criminal InJustice with Dave A. Harris
Criminal Injustice

Episode #111: College Behind Bars

In the U.S., our prisons are full of people raised in the poorest neighborhoods, who only had access to the worst schools. So what happens when they can enter a first-class college program – inside prison? On this episode, Wesley Caines, an alum of the… Read More 

Decarceration Nation logo with US flap inside the map of the USA.
Decarceration Nation

Episode 70: College Behind Bars

Josh interviews Lynn Novick, Sarah Botstein, and Salih Israil about the PBS Documentary Series “College Behind Bars.” My Guests: Lynn Novick: Emmy, Peabody and Alfred I. duPont Columbia Award-winning documentary filmmaker. For 30 years she has been directing and producing landmark documentary films about American culture,… Read More 

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