From Inmate to Inspiration: Man Helps Prisoners and Youth Turn Lives Around

By Christopher Zoukis John Valverde is living proof that second chances are possible, and that the criminal justice system needs to be about more than just punishment — it should focus on rehabilitation and facilitating successful re-entry for the legions

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Cornell Prison Education Program Gives Auburn Inmates New Hope

By Lauren Mazzo and Emily Hull / Just Ithaca For many modern-day high school students, graduating with a college-level degree is simply the next logical step in life; but for the 15 students of Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) who will

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Hudson Link for Higher Education

By Christopher Zoukis

Hudson Link is a prison-education program that was begun as the result of a direct request from prisoners incarcerated in New York’s Sing Sing who lamented the loss of government-funded educational initiatives and reached out to religious as well as academic volunteers associated with the prison.  After the government ended Pell and Tap grants for prisoners, many New Yorkers began to feel uneasy about the lack of education making it into prisons where it seems so desperately needed to transform lives and break the poverty cycle.  Founded in 1998, Hudson Link now enrolls roughly 250 inmates annually and has partners with other correctional facilities.  Photo courtesy www.hudsonlink.org

Hudson Link’s Program Range

While the initiative began with Sing Sing, Hudson Link now has programs at Sing Sing as well as other correctional facilities.  Currently Hudson Link offers Associates Degree-track coursework (at Taconic Correctional Facility) and A.A. and B.S. degrees in Behavioral Science at Sing Sing.  Other program offerings include college preparatory training, A.A. Degree coursework in Liberal Arts, and a B.S. Degree in Organizational Management (available at Fishkill Correctional Facility. 

The programs are run with the help of New York colleges and universities.  The Sing Sing Behavioral Science Degrees, for example, are supported by Mercy College which is known for its challenging program.  Mercy began working with Hudson Link back in 2002 and is now renowned throughout the state and has grown to become one of the largest programs within the state of New York.  The Liberal Arts coursework offered by SUNY Sullivan Community College is one of the newest programs offered by Hudson Link and is offered at the Sullivan Correctional Facility. 

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