A Televised Look Inside the Post-Prison Education Program
The Post-Prison Education Program "not only saves lives of prisoners, but saves the lives of family members of prisoners" • Gina McConnell
Trusting that he would respond positively, Ari Kohn wrote to Professor Michael McCann on August 23rd, 2005 asking that he support the creation of the program which on March 29th, 2006 became the Post-Prison Education Program:
"Professor McCann ... the primary issue that prompted me to think ... of contacting you (can) justifiably be put under the heading of "saving lives." Two Saturdays ago, (we) had ... a "Welcome Back Party" for a woman and four men who had just been released from WA state prisons.... After a potluck meal ... these newly released prisoners came to the center of the room, lit a candle and explained why they were there.... One of those guys was named Kevin.... his story tore me apart.... All at one time, one guy is dealing with probation and parole, obtaining gainful employment, having family members in jail, manic-depressive illness, etc., etc. As I sat with him at Julia's Kitchen ... I just kept thinking 'this guy is so smart'; 'he has so much potential'; 'getting him into a community college or UW could not only center his life, change his life, but save his life.'
"What it boils down to ... really centers on ... is opening doors -- other than jailhouse and prison doors -- for the formerly imprisoned, in essence, jobs not jails, education not incarceration ... creating effective reentry ... support, removing barriers to reentry success, etc., etc., and on and on, ad infinitum...."
And so began the Post-Prison Education Program....
From that moment on, well more than 100 men and women have worked hard to build a program which would use post-secondary education as a means to reunite families, strengthen families, to overcome humanity previously denied, to build lives worth living.
You can help! Please take the next 12 minutes to watch the following exclusive preview of the Seattle Channel's profile of the Post-Prison Education Program, a Mom, student, employee, and Lemon Andersen, a three-time felon who is also a Tony Award winner and one of the country's most respected spoken word artists - and then consider helping the Program move into 2013 able to continue saying "Yes" to the men and women who are determined to succeed and to become valued members of their communities.
Very best wishes to you and yours for safe and happy holidays and a wonderful 2013 from all of us at the Post-Prison Education Program!!
Supporters are now helping to
The one thing we believe above all others in regard to youth is invest now – invest, invest, invest. It will pay off (even in the short term). In almost all cases, we've found that if you invest in people they will respond positively and in a way that leads to saved families and safer communities. Kicking kids out of school at the drop of the hat, as is being done throughout Washington State,…