Thirty-eight inmates at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, N.Y., received their college degree last Wednesday, making it the largest class in New York State correctional history, FiOS1 News reported.
Almost all were minorities, and mostly African-Americans, and their commencement was attended by Harry Belafonte and the singer Usher."
The odds are dramatically better for the 37 men here who received bachelor of behavioral-science degrees or associate's degrees conferred by Mercy College from nearby Dobbs Ferry," The Washington Post opinion columnist George Will wrote Wednesday. "Graduates from Sing Sing's Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison program have a 1 percent recidivism rate."
The Hudson Link program, established in 1998, is a nonprofit organization that provides college education, life skills and re-entry support to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women. Its executive director is Sean Pica, a 48-year-old who was incarcerated for 16 years on a manslaughter charge. His chase for a degree was halted when Congress in 1994 banned Pell grants for inmates.
The program was created with support from Doris Buffett, Warren Buffett's sister, and other donors.
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