NEW YORK (TIP): A New York University initiative to provide higher education to prison inmates will be led by an Indian-American professor. The Prison Education Program announced March 2, will bring college education to jailed inmates at the Wallkill Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in New York State’s Ulster County.
Associate Professor Nikhil Pal Singh is the faculty director of the Prison Education Program PEP, which is funded by a $500,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. The education program is being coordinated with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and overseen by a steering committee composed of faculty from several NYU Schools.
Students who take the PEP courses can earn an Associate of Arts degree from the university and they can continue their education once they are out of prison.
“By expanding access to a university education to incarcerated students, the NYU Prison Education Program aims to help redress inequities that result from the fact that the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation in the world-over two million-the great majority of whom are poor, African American, and Latino,” Singh, an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, is quoted saying in the release.
Beginning in the Spring 2015 semester, 36 men will take one of two NYU classes taught at the Wallkill facility, with up to three additional courses offered during the summer of 2015. Classes will be taught by NYU faculty and offer both intensive liberal arts study and introductory courses from NYU’s professional schools.