The Prison to College Pipeline program gives prisoners the opportunity to take college courses while in prison and the support to continue their education upon release. The small pilot program was started by Baz Dreisinger in collaboration with John Jay College Of Criminal Justice, Hostos Community College, and the New York State Department Of Corrections And Community Supervision. Dreisinger believes that men and women who leave prison as college students are less likely to return to a life of crime.
We met up with Dreisinger at the Otisville Correctional Facility, a medium-security state prison in Orange County, NY, where a class of twelve prisoners were studying Shakespeare’s Othello and building new identities as students. The men we met seemed committed to their education while in prison, but the question is whether they will continue their studies once out. Of the 17 prisoners who’ve enrolled in Dreisinger’s program and been released, seven are now taking college classes outside of prison and four are planning to enroll in the fall.
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