Bard Prison Initiative: Transformative Power of Prison Education

Courtesy of the Bard Prison Initiative: Max Kenner, the Executive Director of the BPI, giving a speech at a graduation ceremony for prisoners who received their college degrees.
Courtesy of Bard Prison Initiative: Max Kenner, the Executive Director of the BPI, giving a speech at a graduation ceremony for prisoners who are receiving their college degrees.

 

Max Kenner, the founder and the Executive Director of BPI, at his Soho apartment in New York City.
Max Kenner, the founder and the Executive Director of BPI, at his Soho apartment in New York City.

 

Bard Prison Initiative’s vision is to completely transform the meaning of prison, to reduce overall recidivism in the United States, to redefine relationship between college opportunity and criminal justice and to make the world a better and safer place to live in. BPI provides prisoners with an opportunity to earn a college degree while serving their sentences. Currently, the U.S. has the largest prison population in the western world with almost 2,5 million people behind bars. Moreover, 750,000 inmates who are released from jail every year, are virtually unemployable, they don’t pay taxes and they magnify already existing social problems. Approximately 68 percent of them will return to jail. Max Kenner, the founder and the Executive Director of the BPI, talks about college as the most effective and inexpensive way of helping people escape cycles of crime and incarceration.

 

 

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