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Prison inmates beat Harvard's debate team

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Prison inmates beat Harvard's prestigious debate team.

The debate took place at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility. The facility is a maximum-security prison in Napanoch.

The Ivy League undergrads were invited last month to debate the inmates who take in-prison courses taught by Bard College faculty.

Harvard's team won the national title this year and also took first place at the world championship last year. But the inmates debate team are no slouches either. The prison's debate team has defeated a nationally ranked team from the University of Vermont and the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

During the debate, the inmates had to defend the position that public schools should be allowed to turn away students whose parents came to the U.S. illegally.

The Bard Prison Initiative Program currently enrolls 300 incarcerated men and women full time with the college. The program reports less than 2% of incarcerated Bard students return to prison. To compare those numbers nationwide, nearly 68 out of every 100 prisoners are rearrested and more than half return to prison.

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