The Role and Future of the Liberal Arts in Prison Education

Spring 2019 Conference

Dates | April 26–27, 2019
Location | Bennington College, CAPA Symposium
Register Here | Free and open to the public
Contact |


What would it be like if every prison had a Liberal Arts College program?
What would it be like if every Liberal Arts College had a prison education program? 

The Spring 2019 convening of Bennington College's Incarceration in America initiative aims to further the conversation on the current and future relationship between Liberal Arts Colleges and higher education in prison programs. Panels will consist of small and focused groups of leaders from a number of liberal arts colleges, and will also include those who teach in prisons, administrators, and alumni of these programs. Discussions will include everything from the most foundational educational and political principles to a very practical agenda for the next three years that includes research, advocacy, and institution-building.


Friday, April 26

  • 7:00-7:45 pm | Fateful Crossroads: The Future of College and Prison | keynote address by Daniel Karpowitz, Author, College in Prison: Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration
  • 7:45-8:30 pm | Keynote Reception 

Saturday, April 27

  • 9:00-9:15 am | President's Welcome
  • 9:15-10:45 am | Liberal Arts Colleges in Prisons: Mission and Pitfalls
  • 11:00 am-12:30 pm | Student Trajectories and Institutional Opportunities
  • 12:30-1:15 pm | Lunch
  • 1:15-2:45 pm | Opportunities, Threats, and Disruptions


CATHARINE BOND HILL | Managing Director, Ithaka S+R

ANIBAL CORTES | BPI-TOW Public Health Fellows’ Mentor

ORNELL CAESAR | Computer Science Fellow, Bard Prison Initiative

ERIN CASTRO | Assistant Professor of Higher Education, University of Utah; Co-Director, University of Utah Prison Education Project; Director, Research Collaborative for Higher Education in Prison

HEATHER ERWIN | Director, Liberal Arts Beyond Bars, University of Iowa

JESSIE HARPER | University of Pennsylvania

KRISTEN INGLIS | Academic Development & Planning Manager, Center for Prison Education, Wesleyan University

SALIH ISRAIL | Advisor to the Directors, Bard Prison Initiative

DANIEL KARPOWITZ | Author, College in Prison: Reading in an Age of Mass Incarceration

JODY LEWEN | Executive Director, Prison University Project

SHEILA MEIMAN | Director of Prison Education Programs, Raritan Valley Community College

KATE MELONEY | Director Graterford Program, Villanova University

TOYA WALL | Senior Program Officer, Ascendium Education Philanthropy