Ron Zifer serves as the program manager for Prison Fellowship’s InnerChange Freedom Initiative in Texas. When men arrive at the Carol S. Vance Unit to participate in the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, they come with a variety of horrible states of mind.  Many arrive angry, fearful of what lies ahead and uncertain about this thing called IFI. Personal […]
June 28, 2016
Written by Steve Rempe
Boston’s roughest neighborhoods are hardly foreign territory to Luis Rodrigues. At 11 years old, he began roaming those streets as a crack dealer. That lifestyle continued for years, until his life was nearly taken from him. One night in 2008, Luis was shot repeatedly at close-range. He spent two weeks in a coma. When he […]
June 27, 2016
Written by Emily Andrews
The North Carolina prison system announced that they will put an end to solitary confinement for juvenile offenders in the prison system. Historically, youth were placed in solitary confinement if they seriously violated prison rules. By this September, the N.C. Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice will launch a Youthful Offender Program that will […]
June 27, 2016
Written by Breanna Atkinson
Kate Boccia knows what it’s like to struggle with a loved one behind bars. When her son, Daniel, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for armed robbery, she experienced all the emotional and financial struggles that come with having an incarcerated family member. “When you have someone you love in prison, you are basically […]
June 24, 2016
Written by Steve Rempe
More than 750,000 people in our prison system have a disability, reports RespectAbility, a group that advocates for those with disabilities. Of those, more than half a million have some sort of cognitive impairment; at least 250,000 have mobility issues; and 140,000 have some kind of vision loss. When speaking with PBS News Hour’s Judy […]
June 24, 2016
Written by Zoe Erler
Speaking in front of an eager crowd at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, on June 20, U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas laid out his vision for criminal justice reform. Cornyn, the current majority whip of the U.S. Senate, has worked hard to steer the Republican Party towards supporting a comprehensive reform of the criminal […]
June 24, 2016
Written by Brian Bensimon
At 23 years old, Weldon Angelos had found himself behind bars facing a 55-year sentence as a first time, nonviolent offender. He was resigned to his fate that he would not be released until he was at least 79 years old. His three children, Anthony, Jesse, and Meranda, would be in their late 50s with […]
June 24, 2016
Written by Breanna Atkinson
There is little debate remaining that the United States has a significant problem with the recidivism of former prisoners. Department of Justice statistics show that one-third of released prisoners are rearrested in their first year outside prison walls. Within three years, that number jumps to 50 percent, and then to 75 percent over five years. But while identifying the problem […]
June 23, 2016
Written by Steve Rempe
For the past several months, Google has led a unique campaign that reconnects children with their incarcerated parents through Project #LoveLetter. On Fathers’ Day, they showcased some of the #LoveLetters that kids sent to their incarcerated fathers. As many know, the United States represents only 5 percent of the world population while holding 25 percent of […]
June 22, 2016
Written by Breanna Atkinson
In today’s confusing society it is no wonder our children, spouses, and other family members and friends end up in trouble or even prison. Call me ‘old school,’ but throughout a large portion of a young person’s developmental years they live in this confusing world where there are no absolutes. Rules apply sometimes, then other […]
June 22, 2016
Written by Ron Zifer