Max Kenner, founder and executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative in the United States, discusses the impact of prison education with Sarah Brown. As he says, ‘nothing does more to create a sense of hope and purpose in otherwise desperate places than the opportunity to learn’.
A leading advocate for his cause, Max’s programme enrols jailed men and women in academic courses that culminate in a degree from the prestigious Bard College in New York.
He has a battle on his hands to make the case for prison learning in a country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, which sees 630,000 prisoners released annually, only for nearly 50 per cent to end up back in prison within five years.
In something of a first for Better Angels, Sarah talks to husband & wife advocates for change - Dan Snow, the popular TV presenter and historian, and Edwina Grosvenor, philanthropist and prison activist. They discuss their passion for speaking up for under-privileged people and how understanding the past informs their activism and awareness.
Edwina’s charity strives for positive change in the justice system, while she is also a founding investor and Ambassador of the Clink Restaurant chain, which trains prisoners for work in the catering industry. She talks about how a visit to a prison drug rehabilitation unit at the age of 12 inspired a career supporting prison reform.
Her work has taken her all over the UK and around the world, visiting different models of criminal justice and witnessing first hand examples of best – and worst - prison practice.
Dan Snow discusses the need to appreciate the complexity of people’s pasts and personal stories when assessing how to pursue social justice and reform. Known as the History Guy, Dan is one of the most familiar faces on television in the UK. He now hosts his own digital history channel and podcast, History Hit, a seemingly endless source of programming about fascinating aspects of history. He began presenting for the BBC soon after leaving university, and went on to front countless series and programmes on key moments in British and global history.