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A lot of people have their own thoughts and opinions on what prison is and what type of people are there. But, there’s a lot that goes on behind those walls that we don’t know about on the outside. Dupont, Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker Lynn Novick directed a four part documentary that shows some of the positive things people do behind bars.

College Behind Bars follows a dozen inmates, both men and women, as they work to earn college degrees through the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). People like Jule Hall use the program to better themselves. Though some may not approve of inmates getting a free college education while nonoffenders struggle to pay for college, Hall says, “college is expensive and that’s not the fault of incarcerated people.” “This film is an example of transformation and redemption,” he says, “it just so happens to be in a prison.”

In the film “the incarcerated students and their families tell their own stories in their own words,” Novick says. Adding that viewers really get to know the families featured. College Behind Bars premieres on PBS over two nights– November 25 & 26.


‘College Behind Bars’ Is An Inspirational Film  was originally published on