WATCH: College Behind Bars

3 mins read
Graphic from the College Behind Bars Website on PBS.

On Monday and Tuesday this week, PBS will be airing a documentary about BPI, the Bard Prison Initiative, a program that since 2001 has enrolled incarcerated students in full-time college programs where they can graduate with Bard College degrees.

College Behind Bars, a four-part documentary film series directed by award-winning filmmaker Lynn Novick, produced by Sarah Botstein, and executive produced by Ken Burns, tells the story of a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States – the Bard Prison Initiative.


How to Watch

Tune In

Tune in to the broadcast premiere on your local PBS station.

Episodes 1 & 2 air Mon. Nov. 25.
Episodes 3 & 4 air Tue. Nov. 26.
9pm EST/8pm CT

Stream Online

Stream anytime online at beginning Nov. 25

Join the Conversation

As you watch, join the online conversation about the documentary using these hashtags:

  • #CollegeBehindBarsPBS 
  • #BardPrisonInitiative  
  • #BPIBard
  • #BardCollege
  • #BPIDebate
  • #CollegeInPrison 
  • #PellYes 
  • #RestorePell

Invite Your Friends to Watch!

Nov. 25th on @PBS #CollegeBehindBarsPBS follows a group of @BPIBard students working to earn degrees in prison and defying common expectations of who college is for and where it might lead.Learn how to watch here:

What is prison for? Who has access to education? On Nov. 25th, I am watching #CollegeBehindBarsPBS, an amazing look into @BPIBard, one of the most rigorous #CollegeInPrison programs in the country. Airing/streaming on @PBS #PellYesLearn how to watch here:

400 hrs of footage shot over 7 yrs. Unprecedented access to New York State Prisons. #CollegeBehindBarsPBS is a 4-part, 4-hour deep dive into some of the most pressing criminal justice issues facing this nation. @BPIBard Tune in!Learn how to watch here:


When incarcerated students from the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) Debate Union beat a team from Harvard, their victory made headlines around the world.
The students and filmmakers reveal the inspiring story of how the power of education can change lives in College Behind Bars.

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Born on the 4th of July, Kelly has always been a firecracker, leading a revolution of girls sitting at the boys’ lunch table in 2nd grade and founding Young Independents in high school. Since earning her Masters, Kelly has spent the past 15 years as a university administrator. In the fall of 2017, Kelly co-created the Two Broads Talking Politics Podcast with her friend Sophy. As producer and co-host, Kelly quickly built the podcast into a nationally recognized interview show, featuring Democratic candidates, activists, and authors around the country. She lives in Chicago with her husband & two sons.

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