Education Behind Bars

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In this photo taken Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, Rudy Madrigal, center, looks on as he sits with fellow inmates in a a college world history class at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, Wash.

Daniel Karpowitz, director of policy and academics for the Bard Prison Initiative and lecturer in law and the humanities at Bard College, joins us to discuss his book, College in Prison: Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration. He’ll also be joined by two of the program’s graduates, Anibal Cortes and Salih Israil. Established in 2001, the Bard Prison initiative (BPI) has provided hundreds of incarcerated men and women across the country with access to a liberal arts education and degrees in subjects ranging from Mandarin to advanced mathematics. Karpowitz tells the story of BPI’s development from a small pilot project to a nationwide network, and what this means for prison reform.