My Foray Into Prison Academia

I was once an ardent non-believer in higher education in prison. I always believed my tax dollars should be put to better use. But that was before I was on this side of the barbed wire. Now I recognize the importance and need for college for incarcerated persons. Coming into prison with an education is not an asset, it is actually a hindrance. I was extremely fortunate to have obtained my BS and MS degrees before I started engaging in illicit acts. I'm very proud of my degrees; no one can take them away from me. But, stupid me, I had my parents send my Bachelors transcript to 'paradise'. This was a horrible mistake on my part. If I knew then what I know now, I would have simply sent my

Dontie's Story-An American Tragedy

Dontie Mitchell, as you may have read in prior posts, was sentenced at seventeen. Dontie has now spent over half his life in prison. He is courageously fighting for his freedom to pursue the opportunites that were robbed from him as a teenager. Yes, I am flipping the script. Dontie was sentenced for robbery, but Dontie was the first one robbed. Dontie is fighting for the opportunity he was never given, not by his parents, his community, or our society. Rather than providing real opportunities for success by investing in his education, our society has, to date, invested over three million dollars in his incarceration. Our society has invested in holding a young man in substandard, violen

From Gang Leader to Youth Advocate

We are pleased to introduce our new Advisory Board member Chris to you. Chris brings extensive experience as a person who was formerly incarcerated and a former gang leader, who has used his experience to positively influence others. The following is an excerpt from his autobiography. On January 15, 1991, I, Christian Claudio, entered the New York Criminal Justice system. I sat alone inside a 6x9 prison cell with 37 years remaining on my sentence. There I sat inside my prison cell with the weight of the world upon my shoulders. I had one million and one questions racing through my mind, and this was only the beginning. This was the place I now called home until I was released 15 years late

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