Congratulations to Hawthorne Valley Board President Ellen Condliffe Lagemann on the publication of her latest book, Liberating Minds: The Case for College in Prison. The book will be released on February 7, 2017 and is available now for pre-order.
Liberating Minds makes a case for the multiple benefits of offering college programs to people who are incarcerated — not only for the inmates themselves but also for the correction officers and society as a whole. Throughout the book, Ellen also tells the story of many formerly incarcerated college students and the remarkable transformation in their lives.
Ellen has spent many years working in higher education. Currently, she is the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College and the Distinguished Fellow in the Bard Prison Initiative.
Lagemann, a former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Distinguished Fellow of the Bard Prison Initiative at Bard College in N.Y., argues that providing prisoners with a college education is good for both prisoners and society. College education helps the formerly incarcerated cope with the shame of having been imprisoned, communicate with their families, and increase opportunities for employment, and such programs also help society by lowering recidivism, incarceration costs, and the crime rate. In response to conflicting research about recidivism, Lagemann argues, persuasively, that these studies were either flawed or based on older, coercive models of prison education. She claims that self-directed programs in which prisoners have control over when and what they learn are effective. There is a particular focus on the Bard Prison Initiative, but other programs are mentioned too, including the Freedom Education Project Puget Sound at the Washington Correctional Facility for Women and the Prison University Project at San Quentin in California. Lagemann includes intensive research, but her most powerful supporting evidence comes from the anecdotes of former prisoners who have become published poets, social workers, and nonprofit leaders. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Liberating Minds:
“A valuable arsenal of information for policymakers seeking prison reform in the present political climate.”