Prison Inmates Defeat Harvard University Debate Team

Photo by JARED AMES/BARD COLLEGE
The inmates from the Eastern New York Correctional Facility defeated Harvard University undergrads in an intellectual debate.

When the Harvard debate team visited the Eastern New York Correctional Facility for a good ol' debate, it was probably assumed that this intellectectual showdown would be an easy win—but they had another thing coming. 

Three inmates, all incarcerated for violent crimes, defeated the esteemed Harvard debate team, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The prisoners are a part of the Bard Prison Initiative, a Bard College program providing college education to qualifying convicts.

The two sides debated whether U.S. public schools "should have the ability to deny enrollment to undocumented students"—the inmate team disagreed.  

Following the debate, inmate Carlos Polanco, who is in prison for manslaughter, said he appreciates that he got a chance to earn an education while incarcerated. "We have been graced with opportunity," he said. "They make us believe in ourselves."  

Congrats to the Eastern New York Correctional Facility on a well-deserved win!

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