A Public Intellectual Vision for Education: On Redeeming the Time

My friend and colleague, J. Douglas Macready , recently posted on a unique educational program in place at Bard College. Here is an excerpt from his post, “Redeeming the Time”:

“According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics , 7.2 million people were either in jail, prison, or on parole by the end of 2009.  A more startling statistic is that 1 out of every 32 adults in America is incarcerated. Most of those people will eventually be released (about 275,000 people per year) and at least 65% of them will be re-incarcerated within 3 years. Can a college education change these statistics? Bard College thinks it can, and they are doing something about it. They are bringing a high quality liberal arts curriculum into prisons and transforming lives.”

If only more universities had such a vision! To learn more about this program, check out the videos posted at The Relative Absolute. I also recommend highly the following books, discussing the hyper-incarceration of the US and how the punitive “right” hand of the Neoliberal State disproportionately targets and affects African Americans: Loic Wacquant, Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal State of Social Insecurity and Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.




4 thoughts on “A Public Intellectual Vision for Education: On Redeeming the Time”

  1. Here in KY, it used to be possible to get a UK degree by extension in prison. In fact, for over a decade, I taught courses on ethics and philosophy (including a two-semester course on the theory and practice of nonviolence) in the KY state prison system. A prison chaplain who sometimes attends our church got me involved.

    This great program was, sadly but predictably, one of the first budget cuts in January ’09.

  2. Hi Michael, That is really a shame. We really need more educational opportunities like these, as they make all parties involved better (or at least they have the potential to do so).

Comments are closed.