Nonprofit: Bard Prison Initiative
Advisor: Isa Gouverneur
Bard College awards college degrees to inmates at various prisons in New York State. The program needs print/online communication resources in order to gain exposure, reach out to prospective employers, and help former inmates secure solid, middle-class jobs in the city.
Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), a program that helps those recently incarcerated rejoin the workface, is at a critical juncture. With a rapidly accelerating rate of graduates, the program must fulfill its mission to help alumni find meaningful, dignified, and sustaining jobs in the worst job market since the depression. Graduates have the training and desire to be everything from policy makers to educators, from environmentalists to dramatists. The challenge is to help them overcome the stigma of incarceration so that they have a chance to demonstrate their strengths to prospective employers.
Most alumni to date have gone on to secure respectable jobs and/or continue their education. BPI’s immediate focus is to increase the program’s exposure and create bridges to prospective employers.
This project aims to achieve these goals in two ways: the first is to create a brochure and a new section on BPI’s website that can serve as outreach material targeted towards potential employers;the second is to create an advertising awareness campaign that encourages members of the general public to rethink their assumptions about those who have spent time in prison.