It shouldn't be too surprising that the prison debate team performed as well as they did against Harvard when you consider their past performance, defeating teams from the University of Vermont and the US military academy at West Point -- in fact, West Point demanded a rematch (which they won), and the friendly rivalry's turned into an annual competition.
All the Harvard jokes aside, though, the Bard Prison Initiative is actually an important program worth highlighting, if only because of this stat: of the formerly incarcerated students who've earned degrees through the program, less than 2% have returned to prison within three years. This, compared with the statewide recidivism rate of around 40%, is a huge improvement.
All told, it turns out the main difference between an Ivy League student and a prisoner is simple opportunity. Oh, and the whole "committing a crime" thing. That too.
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Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist. Surprisingly, he's never been to prison before. Follow his scott-free tweets @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to email@example.com