News

Edward Sanders Proves the Necessity of Prison Education Programs

“I made a mistake when I was 17 years old, and I recognize that someone lost their life. I didn’t pull the trigger, but I was there. There’s no snapping my finger and getting them to come back. I know what death means.” That was a powerful statement Edward Sanders made during a recent lecture

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Prison Entrepreneurial Program Scores High

The small city of Petoskey, Michigan, isn’t far from the Chippewa Correctional Facility, but during the summer of 2016, the city and the prison got a lot closer. It started when an inmate from Chippewa wrote a letter to SCORE’s Tip of the Mitt chapter in Petoskey. SCORE is a nonprofit association that provides education, counseling, and

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Students Partner With Prisoners to Learn Problem-Solving Skills

STUDENTS FROM A WHITMAN COLLEGE AND INMATES AT WASHINGTON STATE PENITENTIARY ARE LEARNING PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS TOGETHER. Anthony Covert made a bad decision. At just 18 years of age, he had a disagreement with a peer over a girl. The two decided to duke it out, but Covert upped the ante by bringing a stolen gun

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Prison exchange program brings diverse groups together

An innovative learning program that brings together incarcerated and traditional students is breaking down barriers and giving meaningful and transformative learning experiences to all involved. The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (IOPE) is a national initiative that launched nearly 20 years ago. This program brings together inmates with non-inmates, and the unique mix of students spend a semester

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Prison Shakespeare Programs Have Dramatic Impact on Inmates

By Christopher Zoukis Prison might be the last place you would expect to see a great performance of Shakespeare. But for more than a decade, Marin Shakespeare Company in California has taught Shakespeare in several prisons, and to rave reviews. In 1989, the company launched to reinvigorate Shakespeare in Northern California, but has expanded its

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Nearly Half of Prisoners Lack Access to Vocational Training

By Christopher Zoukis In the ongoing discussion of prison reform, mass incarceration and reducing recidivism, vocational programs are often overlooked in favor of formal educational courses and other activities and programming. Maybe it is assumed that most incarcerated individuals have access to, and participate in, vocational training and prison jobs. At least that’s what popular

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From Inmate to Inspiration: Man Helps Prisoners and Youth Turn Lives Around

By Christopher Zoukis John Valverde is living proof that second chances are possible, and that the criminal justice system needs to be about more than just punishment — it should focus on rehabilitation and facilitating successful re-entry for the legions of ex-offenders who will eventually rejoin their communities. Valverde this year becomes CEO of YouthBuild

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From Ex-Prisoner to Professor and Prison Reform Advocate

Aaron Kinzel faced obstacles after being released from a 10-year prison stint, and now teaches criminology and is an active prison-reform advocate. By Christopher Zoukis It’s easy to think only of the crimes committed when words like “offender,” “incarceration” or “prisoner” come up. But we should remember that many offenders in our system of incarceration

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Changes to Pennsylvania DOC Improves Life for Prisoners, Staff

By Christopher Zoukis The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spent 2016 making laudable strides toward helping improve the state of mass incarceration in this country. Corrections Secretary John Wetzel made a statement in December outlining improvements the Department of Corrections (DOC) has made in public, prisoner, and staff safety, improving transparency and fiscal responsibility, providing more

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