Bard College Prison Initiative
The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) is restoring higher-education to the prisons of New York. For over twenty years, college-in-prison programs slashed rates of reincarceration from 60% to less than 15%. They spread higher-education among the most isolated communities and were the most cost-effective form of public correctional spending. Despite these facts, funding for prison colleges was eliminated in 1995, at the peak of the ‘tough on crime’ frenzy in American electoral politics. Within that year some 350 such programs closed nationwide, ending the presence of the most affordable and transformative programs in American criminal justice.
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