Students share their thoughts on higher education in prison

McKenzie Patalino

“Higher education in prison allows for equal opportunity benefitting the betterment of our society, inside and outside the walls of incarceration.”

Alexandra Lincoln

“Prison in the United States is a destructive place to be. Higher education can transform the lives of incarcerated people and provide them with hope for the future.”

Christina Bedard

“Higher education in prison shines a light of hope on the dark experiences and expectations that are faced within prisons in New York. An education in a New York State prison would give much more than a degree; it would give students an opportunity to change their life.”

Courtney Bellanfante

“Higher education in prison means new beginnings; it embodies hope and shines light on those who have been submerged into darkness.”

Dakota Dubuque

“Higher education in prison is one step to putting an end to mass incarceration because it is stopping the constant cycle of recidivism. Higher education for the incarcerated is also a way for them to escape from the day-to-day routines and express themselves while furthering their education.”

Gabrielle Ellsbree

“Higher education in prison to me means true equality and freedom for all of society.”

Isabel Espino

“Higher education means to rehabilitate the forgotten.”

Jayme Benoit

“Higher education in prisons is giving an opportunity to someone who has made a mistake … a second chance at becoming a contributing member of society. Not only does this education benefit themselves, it also has positive effects on the community, prison systems … and financial benefits.”

Kae’Chauna Sinclair

“Higher education in prison means a chance at hope, a chance at change, and a chance at growth.”

Kenya Brown

“Higher Education in prisons means a second chance at life.”

Nathan Revette

“Higher education in prison serves as a mental and emotional escape for incarcerated people. Higher education is also something that can change a prison culture from unpleasant to a place where they can feel normal, that they matter, and that their best interest is in mind. Higher education is also one of the best tools to help someone on the path to rehabilitation, and that should be the goal of the corrections system. I support the idea of increasing the number of colleges to work with prisons and to create more higher education programs in the state of New York and across the country as well.”

Princess Odus

“Higher education in prison means restoring a person’s soul and sense of being. It means not treating (incarcerated) people as animals but as actual humans.”

Rachel Voegel

“Until Tyrrell Muhammad … shared his story, I don’t think I truly understood how important higher education is (in prison) and how it legitimately changes people’s lives.”

Veronica Faley

“Higher education in prison helps to give inmates a chance at life once they are released. It is a major benefit for them, but also benefits society as a whole.”