First Degree takes viewers inside the Sing Sing maximum security prison and offers a unique window into a college behind bars.
Although First Degree is primarily an intimate portrait of three people confined at Sing Sing who discover the transformative power of higher education, their stories are emblematic of larger challenges facing our society. Since the launch of the war on drugs in the 1970s, there has been a 700 percent increase in the prison population. Although America has 5 percent of the world’s population, it has 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Nationwide, every dollar spent on prison education programs saves five dollars on re-incarceration costs.
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