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Bard Prison Initiative expands to accept transfers as Medaille, Alliance programs close

This year's BPI commencement at the Fishkill Correctional Facility for men.
Bard College
A recent Bard Prison Initiative at the Fishkill Correctional Facility for men. The BPI has accepted incarcerated students at Medaille and Alliance University, following the closure of both schools earlier this year.

A college-in-prison program put on by Bard College is picking up the slack following the collapse of two private university programs earlier this year. The Bard Prison Initiative has been enrolling incarcerated students in degree programs at prisons across New York for more than 25 years. In recent weeks, it accepted transfers from Medaille University at the Albion Correctional Facility for women, and from Alliance University at Fishkill Correctional Facility for men, after both schools announced they were closing for good.

BPI Executive Director Max Kenner tells WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Jesse King that it was an easy decision, but one that required the program’s largest single expansion to date.

Jesse King is the host of WAMC's national program on women's issues, "51%," and the station's bureau chief in the Hudson Valley. She has also produced episodes of the WAMC podcast "A New York Minute In History."