I Spent 22 Years in Prison, and Thanks to the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, I'm Never Going Back

When I stepped out of prison after nearly 22 years, I did not know what was in store for me. The world had drastically changed while I was behind bars. People were talking to themselves — on cellphones — and racing past me as if I were standing still. Indeed, I was.It was a happy occasion but a terrifying one at the same time. But there on the other side of the razor wire were my family, friends and brothers, the staff and fellow "returned citizens" (former prisoners themselves) of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.PEP provided a first meal (of my choice!) and a care package, life essentials including underwear and hygiene supplies donated by an executive volunteer who wanted me to make a fresh start.The PEP staff (75 percent of whom are PEP graduates themselves) took me through the transition process: settling into PEP's transition housing, obtaining food and clothing, identification, medical and addiction services and, most importantly, legitimate employment leads.  Continue reading...

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