To Address The Need For Reentry Programs, These Prisoners Made Their Own

At the oldest women’s prison in the U.S., on the west side of Indianapolis, Vanessa Thompson sat on a bunk in her cell, watching television. It was early 2015, the 17th year of her incarceration.

On TV, then-mayoral candidate Joe Hogsett was talking about a stubborn Indianapolis problem: 10,000 abandoned houses and lots, a remnant of factory closures and the mortgage crisis. Suddenly, Thompson had an idea, a way to redeem all those valueless homes while opening a door for prisoners just like her.

https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/to-address-the-need-for-reentry-programs-these-prisoners-made-their-own

Building Toward a Future

At a time when the incarceration of women, relative to men, is on the rise — and with about 75 percent of state prisoners getting re-arrested within five years of their release — Thompson and the women at Indiana Women’s Prison hope their new reentry program can be a concrete and inexpensive national model for providing ex-offenders with both housing and a marketable skill.

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/11/01/building-toward-a-future

Female Inmates In Indiana Pitch Plan To Rehab Empty Houses — And Their Lives

The women are concerned that officials will implement it for the state’s male inmates.

“Our labor is often discounted as women; if they give us vocational programs at all, it’s always something like cosmetology instead of auto repair or forklift driving,” said Toni Burns, 44, who is serving a 30-year sentence on an attempted murder conviction. “This may not be for us personally, but it has to be for women.”

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/01/559901323/female-inmates-in-indiana-pitch-plan-to-rehab-empty-houses-and-their-livesprograms-these-prisoners-made-their-own

NPR News, Drew Daudelin in Indianapolis

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Inmates in state prisons face many challenges when they make the transition to the outside. In the U.S., three quarters of them will be arrested for a new crime within five years. In Indianapolis, some inmates have come up with a plan to help former prisoners and the city. From member station WFYI in Indianapolis, Drew Daudelin reports.

https://www.npr.org/transcripts/559901323

Higher Ed’s Message to Ex-Felons: No Second Chances

In an open letter, “We are Educators, Not Prosecutors,” 166 professors at Harvard University last month denounced administrators for unilaterally overturning a decision by the history department to admit Michelle Jones, a highly talented applicant for graduate school, because of a felony conviction 21 years earlier. She was released in August.

What neither the Harvard faculty statement nor related news accounts noted is that discrimination against incarcerated and post-incarcerated applicants to graduate school is commonplace.

https://www.chronicle.com/article/higher-ed-s-message-to/241554

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