It sounds like the setup for a new action film. Early in the morning on August 11, a bus transporting 50 prisoners from a worksite crashed into an overturned semi trailer on a remote Arizona freeway. The bus careened into the road median, the driver seriously hurt.
As the wildfires raging through much of California continue to stretch the abilities and resources of professional firefighters, assistance is coming from an unexpected source—men in the California corrections system.
Nearly 4,000 prisoners have joined forces with roughly 6,000 firefighting professionals in an attempt to tame the fires that have burned 117,960 acres so far, and threaten thousands of homes and businesses.
“My name is Carlos,” the letter begins. “I am 44 years old, a husband and father who is incarcerated, and has been for going on 9 years.”
Carlos is one of thousands of men and women who have been a part of Prison Fellowship’s in-prison programs.
When Ann Lownin first considered volunteering with Prison Fellowship, she admits to being a little nervous.
“At first I thought it was going to be intimidating, but it is not intimidating at all,” Lowin says. “It is so rewarding, and I have met some of the most special people.”
As an actress in the “golden age” of Hollywood, few had a more impressive résumé than Coleen Gray. She rose to national prominence in the late 1940s, starring in classic films like Kiss of Death, Kansas City Confidential, Red River, and The Killing.
When someone says “leadership,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? For some, the first image of a leader is a captain of industry—a visionary like Steve Jobs who has changed the world with innovation and an indomitable spirit.
For the last 14 years, there have been no yard events at Salinas Valley State Prison in California. Previous activities at the facility had resulted in violent acts, including a stabbing near the performance stage, and convinced prison officials to forgo any such programming for the safety of both performers and prisoners.
When asked how many prisoners he hopes to ultimately reach with the program, Ludeman simply responds, “Millions.”
In 1993, a teenager named Oshea Israel shot and killed 20-year-old Laramiun Byrd at a party both were attending in Minneapolis. Israel was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for second-degree murder, while the mother of the victim was sentenced to life without her only child.