A Cornell University program offering college courses to inmates at four central New York prisons will receive funding through a joint effort spearheaded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
The Cornell Prison Education Program is one of seven initiatives at 17 state prisons that will share $7.3 million over five years. Cornell administers college courses at Auburn Correctional Facility and Cayuga Correctional Facility in Cayuga County and Five Points Correctional Facility in Seneca County. The program is aiming to begin offering classes at Elmira Correctional Facility this fall.
Rob Scott, executive director of the Cornell Prison Education Program, said the additional funding announced by Cuomo and Vance will allow the initiative to expand by about 50 students.
“We need programs like this just to keep the doors open,” Scott said of the grant. He noted that it pales in comparison to the billions invested in the broader prison system.