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NY Prison Program Turns Inmates into Intellectuals

Otisville federal prison puts inmates on path to earn college degree

black man in prisonDespite the lack of funding for prison education, a seed of hope lies at Otisville federal prison, where inmates have the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of Baz Dreisinger, a professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

As the academic director and founder of John Jay’s Prison to College Pipeline program (P2CP), Dreisinger spends her time teaching imprisoned men about art history, Toni Morrison, grammar, and more as she makes it her duty to ensure that the education desires of the inmates are met.

Started three years ago, P2CP allows inmates with high school diplomas and GED certificates who are eligible to be released within five years, to earn college credits and complete their degrees in the City University of New York system upon release from prison. With studies showing that prison education leads to reduced recidivism, it’s now the work of the community to ensure that ex-prisoners are met with the proper opportunities that will allow them to use these new skills and knowledge in a meaningful way.

To learn more about the benefits of the Prison to College Pipeline program on Otisville inmates head to NY Times.com.