Almost two million people are incarcerated in United States’ prisons and jails, according to a March report by the Prison Policy Initiative. And while there are issues to examine about why that many individuals are incarcerated, programs to offer educational opportunities to people in prison are gaining attention.
Malika Kidd is program director of workforce development with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry in Cleveland. And one of her programs, Chopping for Change, has connected scores of women with educational opportunities that have helped prepare them to find meaningful employment after being released from prison. The program’s been successful to the point that a parallel men’s tract is being started, according to Kidd.
In “Second Chances are Real — Let’s Make Sure More Students Get Them,” an essay by Kidd, the program director her own experience in the carceral system, as well as the success of Chopping for Change.
A Cleveland TV station profiles Tye Delisle, a woman who engaged with the Chopping for Change program while incarcerated.
Another station speaks to Natasha Bell, who also went through the Chopping for change program.