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ORGANIZATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: ASSISTING FAMILIES OF INMATES, INC.

An organization that I’m particularly proud to introduce you to is that of Assisting Families of Inmates (http://www.afoi.org). They are a terrific group that supports families of the incarcerated. According to

AFOI’s website:

“The AFOI mission is to prevent the breakdown of relationships among inmates and their families by providing regular, meaningful visitation support and education services. Our services help prepare families for a successful transition when the inmate is released from prison. AFOI is one of only a handful of such programs to provide these services in Virginia and across the United States.”

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Gerald T. Balone: The power of education personified

You might never read a more dramatic before and after story than that of Jerry Balone. Aligned on one side are all the usual suspects—neglect, poverty, gangs, indifference, labels, crime, anger, violence, revenge, hatred. The other side has only two members: education and dreams. Are they enough to defeat a lifetime of neglect, violence, anger, and imprisonment?

Before

I loved being a criminal,” says Gerald T. Balone in the same tone someone would state his name. “From the time I was a little kid on, I wanted to be a gangster, a killer, and a thug.”

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