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College Behind Bars

PBS's "four-part documentary film series," College Behind Bars follows the lives of incarcerated individuals enrolled in the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). BPI gives individuals an opportunity to earn associate's and bachelor's degrees while they are incarcerated and is known as "one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States." The series encapsulates the "transformative power of education," by demonstrating the common struggles that incarcerated students share with traditional students - long hours spent studying, tedious paper re-drafts, and preparation for debate competitions, to name a few. The series also invites viewers to share in intimate stories of loss, pain, and second-chances. The four episodes are available to view at the link above under Watch Now. Educators may also want to check out the For the Classroom section, where they will find a lesson plan on "Education as a Means to Citizenship." This curriculum features five video clips on topics such as "The Politics of Incarceration," Support Materials such as discussion questions and handouts, and standards information. College Behind Bars was directed by Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns, all of whom have won awards for their work in the film industry.
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Date of Scout Publication
2020-01-24
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