In a surprising turn of events, a debate team comprised of prisoners from Eastern New York Correctional Facility beat Harvard’s debate team in a competition on Friday. However, this isn’t a tale of overnight success, Uproxx reports.
Since 2014, the prisoners have been debating, starting first with West Point and The University of Vermont. They won both competitions, but lost in a rematch with West Point. Still, that’s a pretty good start for a bunch of inmates who have no access to the internet and instead have to request documents through prison officials.
After the hour debate with Harvard, all three judges decided that the prisoners’ team was the clear winner. And in case you smell any bias, the three judges have to justify their votes to each other based on specific rules and standards.
The prisoners, who were accompanied by 75 of their fellow students, are part of Bard College’s prison initiative, which currently has 300 men and women inmates enrolled in the program.