New York Governor’s Plan for Prison Education Might Make It This Time

By Christopher Zoukis New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is continuing his call for college courses to be offered to inmates in New York prisons. Part of the governor’s ‘Right Priorities’ criminal justice initiatives, the proposal for college classes for

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NY Launches Degree Program at State Prison in Hudson Valley

By Michael Virtanen New York University has enrolled 36 inmates in English classes at Wallkill Correctional Facility in the Hudson Valley. Their first courses are “Literary Analysis and the Politics of Interpretation” and “Critical Perspectives on Justice through Creative Writing.”

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Throw the Book at Them

By Leon Neyfakh This past Saturday, 53 inmates at Eastern Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York, were awarded college diplomas as part of the Bard Prison Initiative, a program that enables convicted felons to take courses and

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Opposition to New York’s College-in-Prison Plan Grows Despite Mountain of Supportive Research

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy cnn.com

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has put into action a plan to greatly expand college in prison offerings in the state of New York.  This plan will result in one prison in each of New York’s prison regions offering college programs to inmates, in which they could earn either an associates or bachelor’s degree.  While many have applauded Governor Cuomo’s efforts, including the labor-backed Working Families Party, which released a statement from their State Director Bill Lipton asserting, “We applaud the Governor’s bold initiative to combat the high rates of recidivism in New York through the power of education,” others have objected, and publicly so.

Opponents of Governor Cuomo’s prison education plan have included the following:

  • U.S. Representative Christopher Collins (R-Clarence) objected, saying that not only does he oppose the prison education proposal, but that he would go so far as to introduce legislation to bar the federal government from being able to finance any college-in-prison programs.  He said the prison education plan was “an insult to law abiding citizens across our state.”  He continued, “Strangely, many of these same politicians think tax dollars should be spent to give convicted criminals a free college degree.”
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