On August 6th, 2017, the New York Times published that more than $7 million in grants have been awarded to a variety of colleges around the state as part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to increase college courses offered in prisons. In a press release from the Manhattan DA’s Office, New York University Prison Education Program has been announced as one of seven New York State colleges and universities to receive the grant funded through the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative.
The CJII was founded to invest criminal forfeiture funds, secured by the Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., for innovative projects that improve public safety, prevent crime, and promote a fair and effective justice system.
Faculty Director of the NYU Prison Education Program, Nikhil Pal Singh, responded to the news by saying:
“We are very gratified to have received this support from the District Attorney’s office and the state of New York. This fall, our first five students will receive an Associate of Arts degree from New York University in Liberal Studies. With this support, we will now be able to continue, and expand this program, and extend this educational opportunity to more individuals in prison and upon their release. “