Front cover image for College in prison : reading in an age of mass incarceration

College in prison : reading in an age of mass incarceration

Daniel Karpowitz (Author)
"The nationally renowned Bard Prison Initiative demonstrates how the liberal arts can alter the landscape inside prisons by expanding access to the transformative power of American higher education. American colleges and universities have made various efforts to provide prisoners with access to education. However, few of these outreach programs presume that incarcerated men and women can rise to the challenge of a truly rigorous college curriculum. The Bard Prison Initiative, however, is different. As this compelling new book reveals, BPI has fostered a remarkable transformation in the lives of thousands of prisoners. College in Prison chronicles how, since 2001, Bard College has provided a high-quality liberal arts education--with courses ranging from anthropology to Mandarin to advanced mathematics--to New York State prisoners who, upon release, have gone on to rewarding careers and elite graduate and professional programs. Yet this is more than just a story of exceptional individuals triumphing against the odds. It is a study in how institutions can be reimagined and reformed in order to give people from all walks of life a chance to enrich their minds and expand their opportunities. Drawing upon fifteen years of experience as a director of and teacher within the Bard Prison Initiative, Daniel Karpowitz tells the story of BPI's development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network. At the same time, he recounts the educational histories of individual students, tracking both their intellectual progress and the many obstacles they must face. Analyzing the transformative encounter between two characteristically American institutions--the undergraduate college and the modern penitentiary--he makes a powerful case for why liberal arts education is still vital to the future of democracy in the United States"-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2017
Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2017