College Behind Bars: Access to Higher Education in Prison and the Restoration of TAP

Inspired by the powerful four-part documentary, College Behind Bars (2019), this webinar examines college-level education programs within prisons, and discusses their history, current issues of importance, and the barriers to access of such programs; including the termination of government-sponsored financial aid programs such as the Tuition Assistance Program (“TAP”) in New York. The positive impact of these programs – both for individuals and for society as a whole – is also explored through first-hand accounts of triumph and transformation, a discussion of inter-generational benefits for families of incarcerated scholars, decreased rates of prison recidivism, and an awakened sense of civic responsibility once formerly incarcerated persons have returned to their communities. Hear firsthand accounts from panelists Michelle Daniel Jones, a fourth year doctoral student in the American Studies Program at New York University who received an undergraduate degree from Ball State University and audited graduate courses from Indiana University while incarcerated, and Jule Hall, Program Officer at Ascendium Education Group, whose experience as a Bard Prison Initiative Alumnus was chronicled in the College Behind Bars documentary.

Janelle Niles
, Member, Minorities in The Profession Committee

Michelle Daniel Jones, Doctoral Student, New York University
Jule Hall, Program Officer, Ascendium Education Group
Vivian Nixon, Executive Director, College and Community Fellowship

Sponsoring Committee:
Minorities In the Profession, Jonathan Waldauer & Johan Tatoy, Co-Chairs

Co-Sponsoring Committee:
Corrections & Community Reentry, Gregory D. Morril, Chair