Reintegration is a Process, After 42 years in Prison

I’ve been working with a gentleman who served 42 years in prison. Every time I get the opportunity to exchange with him I feel inspired and grateful. He is so vibrant. He is mentally and physically sharp. For the most part he travels on foot, walking miles to and from his destinations, exploring the city and enjoying the scenery. He obtained his learner’s driver’s license two weeks ago, so today I Continue reading

Youth Violence in the District of Columbia – A Culture of Crime

I’ve been pondering how I could help society understand the dynamics of youth violence and the anesthetic attitude young people tend to have toward violence, death and crime. I can imagine that for some people this notion is foreign. I remember participating in an Alternative to Violence Project while I was incarcerated, and someone mentioned that there are actually people in the world who would not stoop to violence even if their life depended on it. I was stunned. How is that possible, I wondered? Adaptation is the greatest technique of survival known to Continue reading

Public Perceptions and Re-Entry: How Society Views Criminals Who They Don’t Know Personally

Last week I took my car to the dealer on my lunch break. It was making a weird noise. After discovering that my fan belt needed to be replaced, I got nervous. I only get 30 minutes for lunch. I asked the office manager at the dealership to allow me to use the telephone to call my boss and tell him I might be out a bit longer. When I hung up the phone we got into a conversation about the work I do with men and women returning from incarceration. As I began to Continue reading

Education in Prison and its impact on Returning Citizens

Many years ago people in prison were eligible to receive a college education. Then, one day someone saw fit to outlaw such luxuries. Education was considered a privilege not to be enjoyed by individuals incarcerated for committing crimes.  As a result, educational funding was cut and state programs that offered higher education to people in prison were eliminated. Continue reading

Reentry and Learning to Live Again after Serving Over Four Decades in Prison

I’ve been working with a client who has spent 42 years in prison. When he comes into my office everything ceases. I am committed to giving him my undivided attention. We spend time talking, teaching and connecting to resources. Continue reading