state:
New York
Local history:
Cuffs to Classroom: College in Prison
How Can Higher Education Redefine Mass Incarceration in New York's North Country?
SUNY Plattsburgh
Exhibiting Partner:
SUNY Plattsburgh
Burke Gallery, Myers Fine Arts Building -- Second Floor
January 27, 2020March 13, 2020

Stay tuned!

States of Incarceration is opening at the Plattsburgh State Art Museum in Plattsburgh, NY on January 27, 2020!
It will remain on view through March 13, and then will travel to West Virginia.

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New York: Cuffs to Classroom: College in Prison
How Can Higher Education Redefine Mass Incarceration in New York's North Country?
SUNY Plattsburgh

In 1876, Elmira Reformatory became one of the first prisons in New York State to offer college courses. To understand the relationship between higher education in prison and incarceration in New York State, this project explores the history of higher education at the state’s largest maximum-security prison located twenty miles from our college. Clinton Correctional Facility offered classes through Clinton Community College; the last class graduated in 1995 following legislation that eliminated Pell Grant opportunities for incarcerated people. No other college-in-prison program has existed at Clinton since but correspondence courses are available if the men can afford to pay. Providing an education to people in prison is an investment in their future and communities. We argue that an education partnership between SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Correctional Facility – where men are brutalized and denied basic human rights – is crucial and vital in redefining mass incarceration in New York.

Our Point of View

Our views about higher education in prison changed significantly while researching this project. When we started, half of us supported education in prison while the other half did not. After interviewing formerly incarcerated people and educators who teach inside, we all agree that incarcerated people should receive a college education. The shortsightedness of those who oppose college-in-prison programs is symptomatic of our nation’s obsession with incarcerating its citizens, not educating them.

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New York: Cuffs to Classroom: College in Prison    SUNY Plattsburgh
How Can Higher Education Redefine Mass Incarceration in New York's North Country?
New York: Cuffs to Classroom: College in Prison
How Can Higher Education Redefine Mass Incarceration in New York's North Country?
  SUNY Plattsburgh

National Exhibition Venue    SUNY Plattsburgh

Public Dialogues and Events
| January 27 – March 13, 2020

See Full Exhibition & Events Schedule
Feb 5, 2020

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Cuffs to Classroom: How Higher Education in Prison can Redefine Mass Incarceration in New York State

Description: 

Panel Discussion.

Panelists:

Dr. Erin S. Corbett
Director of Policy at the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice, and founder of the Second Chance Educational Alliance

Klarisse Torriente
Prison Education Coordinator, the State University of New York

Gabrielle Elsbree
SUNY Plattsburgh Class of 2018

Tyrrell Muhammad
Project Associate, the Correctional Association of New York

Moderator:

Dr. Breea Willingham
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Plattsburgh State University of New Yorkread more…

Time: 
5:00 PM to 6:30 PM 
Venue: 

Cardinal Lounge, Angell College Center (ACC)
SUNY Plattsburgh

Film
Feb 20, 2020

Thursday, February 20, 2020

College Behind Bars: PBS documentary

Description: 

Film screening and talk back moderated by PBS’ Thom Hallock.

College Behind Bars, directed by award-winning filmmaker Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns, tells the story of a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States – the Bard Prison Initiative.

Through the personal stories of the students and their families, the film reveals the transformative power of higher education and puts a human face on America’s criminal justice crisis. It raises...read more…

Time: 
6 PM to 7 PM
Venue: 

Yokum Hall
SUNY Plattsburgh

Mar 5, 2020

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Environments and Incarceration in New York’s North Country since 1845

Description: 

Lecture.

Clarence Jefferson (Jeff) Hall Jr. is an assistant professor in the Department of History at Queensborough Community College / CUNY, located in Bayside, Queens, New York. Hall's research focuses on the intersection of environmental politics and the carceral state in nineteenth- and twentieth-century New York.

Hall has presented his research at academic conferences and colloquia hosted by the New York State Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, American Society for Environmental History, Binghamton University Department of History, Stony Brook University Department of History, and at venues large and small across New York State.

His work has also...read more…

Time: 
7 PM to 8 PM
Venue: 

Alumni Conference Room, Angell College Center (ACC)
SUNY Plattsburgh

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