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Interrupted LifeExperiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States$
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Rickie Solinger and Rebecca Sharitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520252493

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520252493.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Changing Minds: A Participatory Action Research Project on College in Prison

Changing Minds: A Participatory Action Research Project on College in Prison

(p.188) 35 Changing Minds: A Participatory Action Research Project on College in Prison
Interrupted Life

Michelle Fine

María Elena Torre

Kathy Boudin

Iris Bowen

Judith Clark

Donna Hylton

Migdalia Martinez

Cheryl “Missy” Wilkins

Melissa Rivera

Rosemarie A. Roberts

Pamela Smart

Debora Upegui

University of California Press

In 1995, President Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which terminated federal funding enabling women and men in prison to attend college. As a result, at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York, a vibrant fifteen-year-old college program closed, as did more than 340 other programs nationwide. Within months, a group of prisoners organized with administration, community volunteers, and local universities to resurrect college. The College Bound program has been in place in the prison for almost ten years, supported entirely by a private, voluntary consortium of colleges and universities. Women prisoners can earn a bachelor's degree in sociology, taking classes offered by faculty from a consortium of 8–10 local colleges and universities. The physical space of the Learning Center, the hub of the college, is equipped with non-networked computers (no Internet), books, magazines, and newspapers, all of which are donated by colleges and universities in the consortium. Participatory action research projects are born in dissent, strengthened by difference, organized through a bumpy democracy, and motivated by desire for contestation and justice.

Keywords:   Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, federal funding, college, College Bound program, consortium, participatory action research, Learning Center, women prisoners

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