#176- Knowledge & Redemptiom A Conversation with Lynn Novick and Jule Hall

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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23 November 2019 16:16
 

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Lynn Novick about her four-part documentary College Behind Bars. The film follows the progress of students in the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) as they pursue their undergraduate degrees. Sam and Lynn are joined by Jule Hall, a BPI graduate who served a 22-year sentence and is now working for the Ford Foundation.

#176- Knowledge & Redemptiom A Conversation with Lynn Novick and Jule Hall

This thread is for listeners’ comments.

 
 
burnra
 
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burnra
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26 November 2019 01:12
 

Go to prison to get a free college education
I came from a poor background in a run down area with no chance of leaving school and going to uni. I left school on Friday and started a welding apprenticeship on the following Monday out of necessity to my family . I had to work for the money to pay for my own further education whilst holding down a full time job. and paying for my accommodation, food, clothing, books,  heating etc etc. I finished uni at 30 years old, worked again,  saved again and did a post grad masters all paid for by my own savings. Why should someone who has committed a crime and been convicted get this all for free whilst having the time and resources given to them. I usually agree with what you say Sam but I do not agree with your supportive views on this subject. Only for a brief time did you discuss the other side where people object,  including wardens and even one persons own mother. I feel a lot of people will not be supportive of this suggestion. I now have children who are now burdened with college loans for the foreseeable future who do not commit crimes. This is the first time I have ever written to any forum,  but your supportive reaction to this conversation went too far left for me.

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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26 November 2019 05:38
 

The conversation touches on the statistic that one dollar inside equals five dollars outside.  And inmates benefiting from this opportunity have a 2.5% recidivism rate.  That sort of runs alongside the concept of compassionate conservatism.  A bipartisan term coined in the seventies and often promoted by President Shrub.

 
 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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26 November 2019 07:13
 
burnra - 26 November 2019 01:12 AM

Go to prison to get a free college education
I came from a poor background in a run down area with no chance of leaving school and going to uni. I left school on Friday and started a welding apprenticeship on the following Monday out of necessity to my family . I had to work for the money to pay for my own further education whilst holding down a full time job. and paying for my accommodation, food, clothing, books,  heating etc etc. I finished uni at 30 years old, worked again,  saved again and did a post grad masters all paid for by my own savings. Why should someone who has committed a crime and been convicted get this all for free whilst having the time and resources given to them. I usually agree with what you say Sam but I do not agree with your supportive views on this subject. Only for a brief time did you discuss the other side where people object,  including wardens and even one persons own mother. I feel a lot of people will not be supportive of this suggestion. I now have children who are now burdened with college loans for the foreseeable future who do not commit crimes. This is the first time I have ever written to any forum,  but your supportive reaction to this conversation went too far left for me.

Do you detect a tendency for people to seek prison-sponsored educational programs actively enough for them to choose a life of crime? Because I’d rather find myself undereducated with a clean past than an ex-con with a fancy degree.

Also, how would a degree-seeking potential arsonist or burglar or rapist, etc. know which prison he’d eventually be sent to?

[ Edited: 26 November 2019 07:41 by nonverbal]
 
 
BarfootSage
 
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13 December 2019 02:56
 

Also, how would a degree-seeking potential arsonist or burglar or rapist, etc. know which prison he’d eventually be sent to?

I am not certain but my understanding is if prisoners put in an application to Bard and are accepted can get a transfer to the prison they are operating out of (out of several different prisons?)

 
 
BarfootSage
 
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BarfootSage
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13 December 2019 03:27
 

After listening to the podcast I watched all 4 episodes of the PBS doc. special, which was as remarkable as Sam said.  I have no problem with offering free tuition to inmate accepted into the program because these are people specifically chosen from a disadvantaged situation.  (Compassion is always applicable.)  The Zen Master Thich Nhat Han proclaimed that if he were born on a pirate beach and raised by pirates, hypothetical, he most likely would have grown up as a pirate too.  Our culture is deficient in community values.  Many African American’s have a much stronger affiliation to a tribal heritage and thus it has more gravity than for white people.  In my opinion the tribe exhibiting Ubuntu is a superior state of meeting, connecting and communing with others than what is customary in society today.  Anything which moves our society in this direction is good.  So free tuition for the transformation of peoples lives and all those whom they may positively effect, not to mention society having positive results with true rehabilitation far outweighs the associated cost, given the current plight of the prison system.
My other thoughts on this subject are if there is a proven track record of success for programs like this, might it not be possible to start moving the entire system in this direction?  With say a federal regulation which standardizes privatized prisons and perhaps gives it over to the military for the facilitation of more programs like this.  One thought was pay the inmates min. wage for jobs (inside) and let them spend 20% of their income while saving 80% to be support upon completion of their sentence.  The Military could then doc. them wages for infractions committed instead of leaning on solitary confinement (inhumane) and avoid contributing to the escalation of violent situations inside. -ideas on why this may or may not be a step in the right direction for prison reform?