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Bard Prison Initiative 13th Commencement Held At Taconic Correctional Facility

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) celebrated its 13th commencement at Taconic Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison for women in Bedford Hills, New York, on Tuesday, June 2. The commencement, the first held at Taconic, was a particularly important accomplishment for the graduates given the uncertainty they faced less than three years ago. At the time, BPI’s program for incarcerated women, then located at Bayview Correctional Facility in New York City, was in jeopardy following the prison’s evacuation during Hurricane Sandy and its subsequent closure. BPI, which is committed to providing access to higher education for both incarcerated women and men, was able to turn this crisis into an opportunity to launch an expanded, thriving program for women at Taconic.

Jennel Nesbitt ’15 was a second-year student at Bayview when Hurricane Sandy struck. In an address to her fellow graduates, she recalled, “No one was sure if we would ever go back to college. All the Bard students were depressed and disappointed . . . Then one morning I saw a memo. It said Bard was having a meeting for all its students . . . Despite the storm, the transfers, and…

Originally posted on Bard College’s website

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