Ellen Condliffe Lagemann is the former Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, a prolific author, and currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative.
In this episode of Other Side, Ellen talks about her book Liberating Minds: The Case for College in Prison (The New Press) and her own experiences teaching in New York State prisons.
Ellen persuasively outlines the many benefits of college-in-prison programs.
As she points out, most incarcerated people return to society someday.
Education programs in prisons help people grow while incarcerated and return to society in a better position to contribute and avoid a life of crime. The recidivism rate for prisoners who take college courses is extremely low.
These programs also give inmates purpose and can reduce violence and instability in prisons.
Ellen also talks about the positive impacts these programs can have on inmates' children and in their communities.
College-in-programs are costly, but they are far cheaper than continuing to incarcerate the same people over and over. It really seems like a commonsense approach to helping people get on their feet, reduce crime, reduce recidivism, and save tax dollars.
I recommend that you also check out an earlier episode we did on this topic called "Prison, punishment, and rehabilitation." In that episode, I interviewed one of Ellen's former students, Wes Caines. Wes makes a very personal case for these programs from the point of view of a participant. Ellen complements Wes's perspective with a bird's eye view of what college-in-prison programs are and their larger societal benefits.
If you'd like to learn more, I recommend checking out Ellen's latest book Liberating Minds: The Case for College in Prison. Also check out a book by Ellen's colleague Daniel Karpowitz.
And if you're interested in reading more generally about race and criminal justice in the United States, I recommend Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
Ep. 8 - Artificial intelligence and the evolution of driverless cars - a conversation with Hod Lipson
Today I talk to Columbia University Mechanical Engineering Professor Hod Lipson about his book Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead (MIT Press).
I'm really interested in self-driving cars--and torn about how I feel about them.
I'm excited about them because I think they have a lot of promise in calming traffic and reducing traffic deaths.
I worry, however, that they will create all kinds of new privacy and security concerns that optimists aren't anticipating.
Hod is an expert on the robotics and artificial intelligence behind self-driving cars and his book really helped me better understand how they work.
In this podcast, Hod talks about
Learn more. Check out Hod and Melba Kurman's books on self-driving cars and 3D printing:
If you like this episode, I know you'll love Reid's book too. Here's it is:
My guest today is Os Schmitz. Os is a professor at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the author of The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Antropocene.
In this conversation we talk about
I never quite understood why biodiversity was important until I spoke with Os. I think you'll learn a lot from his ways of thinking about the environment as an interconnected system.
In general, Os is very much on the side of humans and the environment existing and thriving together in tandem. He is not all "doom and gloom," as he puts it, and he advocates some common sense approaches that will allow us to continue making economic progress and better enjoy the nature around us.
If you'd like to learn more about the topics we discussed in the podcast, I highly recommend Os's book, The New Ecology. It's an excellent read.