KA-Lite in Prisons

I am Scott Lydiard, on the faculty of the Bard College Prison Initiative (http://bpi.bard.edu/ ) where I teach college Computer Science in New York State Prisons. BPI’s mission is to bring Liberal Arts college level education to the incarcerated. Within that, the mission of a group of concerned educators (myself, Kit Laybourne and Deborah Bond-Upson) is to bring Computer Science and Graphics Arts education to the same group.

A resource limitation is that most prisons have a rigorously enforced “no Internet” connection policy. That is why we are so excited about KA-Lite. I’ve read about the KA-Lite installation in an Idaho prison. We would like to see it deployed nationally in State and Federal Prisons.

BPI has been teaching within prisons for 15 years. It took 5 years to finally get approval for computers in the Woodbourne, New York State correctional facility. The requirements are onerous. Every single file needs to be examined to insure it doesn’t contain pornography, personally identifiable information, Internet links, or viruses. This process must be done for each prison, not Statewide and certainly not nationwide. We want to change that. We would like to standardize the certification process and apply it to a specific KA-Lite distribution for Federal and State prisons (at no cost to them). I could also volunteer my experienced prisoner developers to port existing Khan software, in particular the programming and “Pixar in a Box” courses, to the KA-Lite distribution (for free).

We understand you guys ( Learning Equality group https://learningequality.org/ ) created KA-Lite. What do we need to do to move forward in creating a “certified” KA-Lite distribution for US prisons?

Respectfully, Scott Lydiard (619-852-7633) Call any time.
Poughkeepsie, NY

Hi Scott!

We’ve sent you a separate email, but we want to keep this post up so that other folks who work in correctional facilities can chime in and share their experiences of implementing KA Lite in prisons. In addition to what you wrote about needing a ‘certification’ or vetting process for KA Lite in prisons, I’d be interested to hear about what others in the community have on their wishlist. All: what pieces do you need to fall in place in order to bring KA Lite to your inmate students?



World Possible has recently deployed our RACHEL-Plus server with the NY Dept. of Corrections in several of their facilities with juvenile inmates. Our RACHEL-Plus server includes the latest release of KA-Lite server and content on Ubuntu Server 14.04 version of the Linux Operating System.

With the partnership we have developed with the NYDoC we might be able to help you get servers approved where you are teaching. We can offer this same assistance in quite a few other states.

This is a link to our US Justice program. You can also email me at ed[at]worldpossible.org .

Best, regards, Ed Resor