Mentor-Mentee Relationship

In the latest of episode of Reentry Radio, former College Initiative mentoring coordinator, Alejo Rodriguez, discusses the mentor-mentee relationship. Alejo highlights the emphasis on compassion, empathy, and respect in eliminating the top-down structure typical for mentor-mentee relationships to best support justice-involved individuals seeking higher education. He argues that, in these types of relations, there is mutual reward and satisfaction along with a certain level of authenticity and sensitivity between mentor and mentee.

CI is a community of successful, positive, and supportive students, alumni, and staff dedicated to creating pathways from criminal justice involvement to college and beyond. We achieve this through individualized assistance with college selection, enrollment, financial aid, academic counseling, peer mentoring, and supportive workshops. In short, CI encourages people to enroll in college who might not have considered it, removes barriers to their enrollment, and creates a supportive community that increases student success in college and in life. 

Click here to download the episode.

Thanks to our audio editor, Katie Bancroft.

Memoir as Justice

Over the course of several months, students in PRI’s College Initiative (CI) program participated in a memoir writing program with Prison Writes, a writing program that uses a trauma-informed approach to bring workshops to incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and justice-involved individuals. In this episode, we speak with Jessica Hall, the founder and executive director of Prison Writes, and Brenneis Nesbitt, a CI student who participated in the memoir writing workshop. 

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Thanks to our audio editor, Katie Bancroft.

StoryCorps, Part V: El Sun

PRI’s College Initiative (CI) program partnered with the StoryCorps Justice Project, which works to preserve and amplify the voices of individuals directly impacted by mass incarceration. In this episode, El Sun (above, third from left) discusses the struggles he faced growing up and his experiences pursuing education during and after incarceration. 

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Thanks to our audio editor, Katie Bancroft.

StoryCorps, Part IV: Victor and Tomas

PRI’s College Initiative (CI) program partnered with the StoryCorps Justice Project, which works to preserve and amplify the voices of individuals directly impacted by mass incarceration. Through a workshop with the Justice Project, CI students Tomas (above, left) and Victor (above, right) interviewed each other about their experiences pursuing education before, during, and after incarceration. 

Click here to download the episode.

Thank you to our audio editor, Katie Bancroft.

StoryCorps, Part III: Carlos and Derek

PRI’s College Initiative (CI) program partnered with the StoryCorps Justice Project in their mission to amplify the stories of people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration and the justice system. In this episode, CI staff member Carlos Quintana (far left above) interviews CI student Derek about his experiences taking college classes while incarcerated, experiencing the elimination of Pell grants for incarcerated students, and continuing his education through CI after his release. 

*Update: Since recording this conversation, Derek has completed his degree at Hunter College.

Click here to download the episode.

Thank you to our audio editor, Katie Bancroft.

StoryCorps, Part II: Liz and LaStar

PRI’s College Initiative (CI) program partnered with the StoryCorps Justice Project, which works to preserve and amplify the voices of individuals directly impacted by mass incarceration. Through a workshop with the Justice Project, CI students LaStar (above, left) and Liz (above, right) interviewed each other about their childhood aspirations and their experiences with justice involvement and higher education.

Click here to download the episode.

Thank you to our audio editor, Katie Bancroft.

StoryCorps, Part I: Deivy and Philip

PRI’s College Initiative (CI) program partnered with the StoryCorps Justice Project in their mission to amplify the stories of people who have been directly impacted by mass incarceration and the justice system. In this episode, College Initiative students Deivy and Philip discuss their experiences being incarcerated, seeking higher education as a means of refuge, dealing with personal struggles, and finding a sense of community both within and outside the prison walls..

Click here to download the episode.

Thank you to our audio editor, Katie Bancroft.

Reentry Radio: NYC Justice Corps — Part Two

In the second episode of our two-part series about the NYC Justice Corps program, we’re bringing you an even closer look at the intricacies of the program’s community benefits project model.

On June 28, 2017, the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) released a report entitled Building Communities, Changing Lives: The NYC Justice Corps Community Benefit Projects as part of the Occasional Series on Research in Reentry. At the event, panelists, NYC Justice Corps alumni, and audience members discussed the transformative power of community benefits projects.

This episode, the second in our series about NYC Justice Corps, features the voices of several NYC Justice Corps alumni, community-based host sites, and community stakeholders who participated in panels and conversations at the report launch.

Thank you to Katie Bancroft, our audio editor.

Briana Montero, NYC Justice Corps alumni
Cyrus Garrett, former Executive Director of the NYC Young Men’s Initiative
Almond Santos, NYC Justice Corps alumni
Colin Maloney, NYC Justice Corps alumni
Pastor Marcia Usher Kerr
Reverend Frank Morales
Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods
Dr. Carson Hicks, Deputy Executive Director of Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
Jeremy Travis, former President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Read the report

Download episode

 

Reentry Radio: NYC Justice Corps — Part One

Season Two of Reentry Radio is back!

What changes do justice-involved young adults want to see in their communities? How can social engagement and community support empower young adults as citizens, leaders, and community members? What would our world look like if communities, government agencies, and organizations partnered together and committed to holistically supporting  justice-involved young adults?

In this episode of Reentry Radio, we bring you an inside look at the New York City Justice Corps program, which aims to change the dynamic between justice-involved young adults and the communities in which they live. Through community benefit projects, in which program participants design and carry out renovation and restoration projects in their communities, NYC Justice Corps promotes transformation and leadership.

On June 28, 2017, the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) released a report entitled Building Communities, Changing Lives: The NYC Justice Corps Community Benefit Projects as part of the Occasional Series on Research in Reentry. At the event, panelists, NYC Justice Corps alumni, and audience members discussed the transformative power of community benefits projects.

This episode, the first in our two-part series about NYC Justice Corps, feature the voices of panelists and alumni:

Elena Sigman, Director of Collaborative Learning, PRI
Dr. Shadd Maruna, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Manchester School of Law
Judge Rhonda Tomlinson
La Rue Beharry, Brooklyn Justice Corps alum
Almond Santos, Harlem Justice Corps alum
Colin Maloney, Bronx Justice Corps alum

Read the report

Download episode

Stay tuned for more!

Reentry Radio: A Place to Call Home – Episode 3


This episode of Reentry Radio is the conclusion of a special three-part series about housing access and support for people with criminal justice system involvement.

On October 27, 2016, the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) held a special event in partnership with The Fortune Society, The Supportive Housing Network of New York, and the Corporation for Supportive Housing. This day-long event, Excluded: A Dialogue on Safe, Supportive, and Affordable Housing for People with Justice System Involvement, gathered together a group of speakers and panelists from a variety of fields.  Our recommendations were released in our report, A Place to Call Home, and this special podcast series.

This episode features the panel “Creating a New Paradigm,” which tasked speakers with considering new approaches to housing. Laura Mascuch, Executive Director of the Supportive Housing Network of New York, moderated the panel, which featured:
Marta Nelson, Executive Director of the New York State Council on Community Reentry and Reintegration
Trish Marsik, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System
Kristin Miller, Director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing
JoAnne Page, President and CEO of the Fortune Society
Jocelyn Fontaine, Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center

The series concludes with “Translating Values Into Action,” a conversation around what can be done to further create and support a system where people with criminal justice system histories can live in safe, affordable, and supportive housing. This panel was moderated by Ronald Day, Associate Vice President of Policy at The Fortune Society, and featured:
Paulette Soltani, Housing & Homelessness Organizer at VOCAL-NY
John Relman, Managing Attorney at Relman, Dane & Colfax
Margaret diZerega, Project Director within the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice
Jessica Yager, Executive Director at the NYU Furman Center

Read the report

Download the full episode

Keep Listening:
Episode 1: A Place Called Home: Why It Matters
Episode 2: Drilling Down: the Barriers to Housing