Juggling Two Realities: Between Prisoner and Student in College Behind Bars

March 25, 2020

“You’re a prisoner, and you’re a student,” BA student Rodney Spivey-Jones explains. “It’s balancing two identities.” For the incarcerated people enrolled in the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) college program, every day is a negotiation between these two often conflicting identities. While they dedicate nearly all of their time to student life, the prison system still sees them as only prisoners — a status that allows the state to confine, harass, and abuse them.