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BBC Storyville – College Behind Bars (2020)

BBC Storyville 2020 College Behind Bars

Tells the inspiring story of a group of men and women in the USA struggling to earn college degrees while in prison for serious crimes.

The Bard Prison Initiative is one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programmes in the United States. Shot over four years in maximum and medium security prisons in New York State, the films tackles a pressing issue – the failure to provide meaningful rehabilitation for over two million Americans living behind bars.

Through the stories of the students and their families, we discover many dropped out of high school before being incarcerated and never imagined they would go to college. During four years of study, however, they become accomplished scholars, beat the Harvard debating team, reckon with their pasts and discover how truly transformative education can be.

Incarcerated men and women at Eastern and Taconic Correctional facilities are admitted to the Bard Prison Initiative. When classes begin, they discover they must meet the same high standards as students on Bard College main campus. The debate team prepares to face the University of Vermont.

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