Bard Prison Initiative
Division of Bard College
Campus Road, PO Box 5000
New York 12504-5000
The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) creates the opportunity for incarcerated men and women to earn a Bard College associate’s or bachelor’s degree while serving their sentences in six prisons across New York State. The academic standards and workload are rigorous, based on an unusual mix of attention to developmental skills and ambitious college study. The rate of post-release employment among the program’s participants is high and recidivism is stunningly low. By challenging incarcerated men and women with a liberal education, BPI works to redefine the relationship between educational opportunity and criminal justice.
As the largest program of its kind in the United States, BPI enrolls men and women statewide across a full spectrum of academic disciplines and offers over 60 courses each semester. Between 1999 and 2013, Bard granted nearly 300 degrees to BPI participants and enrolled more than 700 students. It now operates a network of 6 satellite campuses across New York, engaging students during, pre- and post-release. As former President Bill Clinton observed in his book Giving, BPI “is a good investment in a safer, more productive society.”
Boston University’s Prison College
Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies
Prison Education Program
808 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Boston University believes in the power of education to elevate, nurture, and transform. While all college students grow as they engage in new ways of thinking, the impact of education is especially evident in prison. This rigorous study gives prisoners the intellectual leverage they need to revise their view of themselves and leave prison better equipped to contribute positively to their families and communities.
The Prison Education faculty is comprised of professors from Boston University, Harvard University, Boston College, Bridgewater State College, Brandeis University, Cambridge College, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Lasell College, among others.
Hudson Link for Higher Education
Graduate Correspondence Studies for Prisoners
PO Box 862
Ossining, New York 10562
Hudson Link was founded when funding for college education in prisons was cut both in New York State and at the Federal level. The cuts devastated many prisoners and forced a group of Sing Sing inmates to reach out for help. Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison was formed in 1998 by a consortium of Sing Sing inmates, college educators, and community leaders. The show of support in the creation of Hudson Link is based on evidence that education transforms lives and greatly reduces recidivism. The strength in this belief is evident as Hudson Link’s programs and services are entirely privately funded.
Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison provides college education, life skills, and re-entry support to incarcerated men and women to help them make a positive impact on their own lives, families, and communities, resulting in lower rates of recidivism, incarceration, and poverty.
Currently, Hudson Link serves five facilities in New York State, including Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Sullivan Correctional Facility, Fishkill Correctional Facility, Greene Correctional Facility, and Taconic Women’s Correctional Facility. Each of these five facilities offers a college preparatory course, life skills development courses, and college-level courses sponsored by Nyack College, Mercy College, SUNY Sullivan, Vassar College, and Siena College. Hudson Link has now extended the services and programs to include released Hudson Link alumni.
Wesleyan Center for Prison Education
The Center for Prison Education (CPE) has provided a high caliber liberal arts education to a growing student body of men and women incarcerated at Cheshire Correctional Institution and York Correctional Institution since 2009 and 2013, respectively.
The courses offered by CPE are comparable to their counterparts on campus in the content and expectations of students. The only college-in-prison program in Connecticut, CPE prides itself on the rigor of our admission process, range of curricular offerings, and the high standards to which our students are held.
The success of CPE’s students demonstrates the ability of this marginalized community to succeed in even the most demanding academic environment.
The importance of a Wesleyan education to CPE’s students cannot be overstated. Non-Wesleyan educational programming at Cheshire and York is almost-exclusively limited to GED prep and English language study. Students value the intellectual stimulation provided by CPE, the learning-community it creates amongst students, and the ability of a liberal arts education to change the way students think about themselves and others.