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“Prisons to Prosperity”

Non Violent Inmates

A seminar, “Prisons to Prosperity,” will be presented by the Bronx Clergy Roundtable and the Think outside the Cell Foundation this Saturday, October 26, at Lehman College in the Bronx. The seminar’s goal is the encouragement of individuals with criminal records to consider entrepreneurship.

It makes perfect sense since some criminals do have entrepreneurial backgrounds. They can take their natural skills and talent and use all in a positive manner. Drug dealers are entrepreneurs doing business on the wrong side of the street. They need to know their market, production, cost, profit, and oversee their employees, if they want to be successful.

This idea of entrepreneurship eliminates the employer refusing employment because of a criminal conviction. Many employers, will not look beyond the individual’s past, and they ignore completely the person who has submitted an application for employment.

On a personal note, I was surprised at the raw talent of individuals who were incarcerated with me. Once I was in a holding cell in Baltimore, I listened to a young inmate explain a complicated legal motion to another inmate. This inmate knew the law and explained the legal intricacies better than most criminal attorneys. As I Listened to his explanation, I knew that a talented mind was wasting away in prison. I learned later from this young man that he had not even graduated high school and that he had five individuals working for him on the streets before he was arrested.

With the right encouragement and programs,this young man would make an excellent entrepreneur. By taking the appropriate steps, we can reduce unemployment, lower the recidivism rate, and improve our society.

For more information about the Prisons to Prosperity Seminar:

Saturday, October 26 at 9 a.m.
Lehman College – Music Hall
250 Bedford Park West, Bronx, NY
Call 718-231-1033 or visit thinkoutsidethecell.org

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10 Responses to “Prisons to Prosperity”

  1. PrisonPath October 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    I don’t know that it would be wise to encourage entrepreneurship rather than promote the agencies that do help with employment.I would think maybe promoting some type of job training program.I don’t know if you can impart creativity.
    By BRENT

  2. PrisonPath October 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Brent and Bradley;
    I DO encourage entrepreneurship because there are those with certain previous offenses that still struggle to obtain ANY form of employment. When someone has the knowledge, wisdom and business sense to accomplish such a task, it not only helps them to obtain finances but to create a greater sense of self esteem. I have worked with “Returning Citizens” that are released from our local prisons for over 18 years and and the story is pretty much the same now as it was when I started to work with reentry. It’s all a “trust” issue that has to be built up all over again for employers when someone is seeking employment at their business. Working with the “hardest to employ” has shown me the many faces and attitudes of business owners in many fields of employment. Many that are released already have that “creativity” because many were “creative” when the planned and schemed to eventually end up in prison. Now it’s up to those of us that aid them into turning those negative actions into positive actions and we would be surprised how much they can actually accomplish. There is a HUGE amount of talent and skills behind our prison walls. It just takes those of us who are willing to work with them and give them a second chance to prove themselves. The sense of accomplishment and even ownership gives purpose and self-worth to our “Returning Citizens.”

    Rev. Don

  3. PrisonPath October 31, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    I am a successful entrepreneur having built several companies. I am also a three time convicted felon. Some are ideal candidates to start their own business and some will fail miserably. They will all require mentorship and careful guidance, particularly when successful, for wealth can be a dangerous thing. I have often noted that if those involved in the criminal life would focus the time and energy they used for bad to doing good things they would be millionaires
    By bob

  4. William October 31, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    I thought this was a great read and a different way of looking at this topic matter

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2012/11/05/why-ex-cons-make-great-entrepreneurs/

    I Pray we get into some deep dialogue about this stuff

  5. William November 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    thought this was a great read and a different way of looking at this topic matter

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2012/11/05/why-ex-cons-make-great-entrepreneurs/

  6. Rev. Don November 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I Pray we get into some deep dialogue about this stuff

  7. Willie November 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I concur. I read the articles and give it high praise

  8. Rev. Shalom November 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    I thank God that seminar ” From Prison To Prosperity”it is a timely message to be sent around to everybody including those in prison walls.To know and understand that God who delivered Joseph from prison is still at work today Hebrews 13:8.God is still transforming and changing the world through those who have rejected ,despised and mocked by the rest. ” ” ” Can any Savior come from Nazareth ? ” John 1:45-46.All the same the Savior came from there. God is going to raise up more men and women inside the prison walls ,who will form up God’s end time army talked about in Joel 2:1-15.

  9. PrisonPath November 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    God will use whom ever He please to grow His kingdom and spread the gospel message of salvation.
    By Willie

  10. PrisonPath November 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    My life is a testimony,I was in prison and came out,went to the Church where I was and was rejected as nobody was interested in a person from prison. At that point thee was a Pastor who had a problem with his church and heard about me and came to ask me to go to his church and help him with his church.So I went and begun to pastor his church which had only 30 people left. God used me to pray and to intercede for the ministry,involving the members.Soon the church began to grow and people got jobs,reached to those prison and hospitals,did evangelism,prayed without ceasing,loved one another and the church expanded.By the third year,as an administrative pastor,the church grew to 750 people.Then God moved me to the current ministry which I founded by the Grace of God.From prison to prosperity,is very much possible.
    By Rev. Shalom

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