College Behind Bars

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Men and women earn college degrees - and a chance at new beginnings - while incarcerated.

College Behind Bars is the inspiring, emotional, deeply human story of men and women struggling to earn college degrees while in prison for serious crimes. In four years of study they become scholars, shatter stereotypes, reckon with their pasts, and prepare to return to society. A groundbreaking exploration of incarceration, injustice, race in America, and the transformative power of education.

FromKen BurnsKen Burns

Funding for College Behind Bars is provided by Bank of America; PBS; Ford Foundation / JustFilms; National Endowment for the Humanities; Meg & Tomas Bergstrand; Regina K. Scully; The Lise …

Providing Support for PBS.org

About the Film

College Behind Bars, a four-part documentary film series 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.

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