"There's a lot of untapped talent out there—people who haven't been given a chance because of barriers."
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At Stillwater Correctional Facility in Minnesota, prisoners gathered together to run for the second chances they hope to have one day.
By Randy Anderson, as told to Emily Andrews
Randy Anderson will be speaking at Prison Fellowship®'s annual Second Chances 5K in St. Paul, Minnesota, this spring. The 5K raises awareness for those in need of a second chance. Randy hopes his story of struggle and recovery will inspire others—in and out of prison—to believe that no life is beyond restoration.
Join Prison Fellowship® for our Second Chances 5K runs this April in Denver and St. Paul!
"I was certified as an adult when I was 17 years old and have been locked up for the last 15 years," Robert writes from the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Lino Lakes.
Amazing! Outstanding experience. The most impacting, rewarding development of my leadership skills and relationships. These are the words of wardens, deputy wardens, and assistant wardens after participating in Prison Fellowship’s recent Warden Exchange program residency in Minneapolis.
The two-day residency began with a comparison between European and American prisons, led by Association for State Correctional Administrators president Leann Bertsch and Colette Mazzucelli, a New York University international relations professor.
In June, six women graduated from Prison Fellowship’s InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI), an intensive faith-based program, at Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee. One of the graduates shared how participating in the program has changed her entire perspective:
“Before coming to IFI, I was a self-centered, egocentric, selfish woman.
In some ways, the races seemed like any other 5K competitions that take place every weekend across the country. The runners laced up their shoes and stretched in preparation for the run, affixing their bib numbers and hoping for fast times.
Prison Fellowship Director of Community Engagement Jesse Wiese and former Minnesota Governor Al Quie recently penned an editorial for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, highlighting the challenges that hundreds of thousands of men and women face nationwide when they return to their communities from prison.
Part of New Prison Fellowship Campaign to Expose and Eliminate “Second Prison” for 65 Million Americans with Criminal Records
ST. PAUL, Minn., April 26, 2016—Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans with a criminal record continually face significant legal, social and other barriers that inhibit them from fully contributing to society.
The following post originally appeared on the Minneapolis Running website, and is reprinted here with permission.
Running is a communal activity. While we compete on an individual level, everyone I know agrees that running is far more enjoyable when done with others.
For many men and women with criminal convictions, the road to move beyond the past and become contributing members of their communities is filled with hurdles and potholes. In addition to the stigma associated with having a criminal record, there are numerous legal impediments that prevent these people from obtaining work licenses, voting in elections, or even advancing to job interviews.
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.
Last year, Bob celebrated his 90th birthday inside Minnesota's only level five maximum-security prison, Oak Park Heights. Bob has led Bible studies there since the late 1990s.