Last week, Reuters’ Barbara Goldberg visited a class taught by Columbia University Professor Laura Ciolkowski at Taconic Correctional Facility on the classics. The course is one of several taught each semester through our Prison Education Program at two New York State Correctional Facilities, Taconic and Sing Sing. The program is a collaboration with Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, an organization that provides college education, life skills and re-entry support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women.
Homer, Virgil hauled to New York prison for Ivy League class
….Homer, Euripides and Virgil are all doing weekly stints at a New York women’s prison this spring. Their classic works are being read by inmates enrolled in a Columbia University course organized by the non-profit Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, which aims to boost employment for convicts upon release and reduce recidivism.
About half of the 700,000 inmates who leave U.S. federal and state prisons each year in the world’s biggest penal system will be re-incarcerated within three years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. But those who have taken classes offered by a consortium of colleges through Hudson Link over 16 years – including in the infamous Sing Sing penitentiary – have a recidivism rate of less than 2 percent.
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