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Educational Initiatives
Educational Initiatives

Bard Prison Initiative

Reimagining Prison Education

The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) creates the opportunity for incarcerated men and women to earn a Bard College degree while serving their sentences. The academic standards and workload are rigorous. 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.

Our Programs

As the largest program of its kind in the United States, BPI enrolls nearly 300 incarcerated men and women across a full spectrum of academic disciplines. By 2014, Bard granted 300 degrees to BPI participants and enrolled a total of nearly of nearly 800 students nationwide through the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison.  

In the News

PBS NewsHour reports on the Bard Prison Initiative and its academics-based "job training" in a two-part series from Woodbourne Correctional Facility. Part I includes interviews with BPI incarcerated students, program faculty, and executive director Max Kenner. Part II focuses on BPI alumnus Anthony Cardenales, employed with WeRecycle!