Poetry from Prison & Probation & Beyond
September 19th, 4pm at St. Francis College
Co-hosted with Free Verse and Brooklyn Book Festival, St. Francis Post Prison students gathered to share spoken-word poetry in Founder’s Hall. St. Francis students and Bookend Participants spoke about their experiences in the criminal justice system, performing poetry and music they had written or selected. After the event, St. Francis Students and Bookend Participants be-friended one another, and some St. Francis students even joined Bookend to participate in a Poetry reading at Carnegie Hall the following evening.
BACK TO SCHOOL BBQ
September 14th, 12pm at Aviator Park
The Post-Prison Program hosted a BBQ in Aviator Park Brooklyn to celebrate the start of the new school year. This year, the Post-Prison Program students welcomed 4 new students, boosting the program from a group of 7 to a group of 11. SFC Faculty, SFC Students, new and old, spent their Saturday playing Basketball, Bocce Ball, Chess, and BBQing, relaxing to get ready for the upcoming school year.
KING’S COUNTY RE-ENTRY TASK FORCE MEETING — EVENT WITH BROOKLYN DISTRICT ATTORNEY OFFICE
August 7th 12:30PM to 2:30 PM at St. Francis College
Event theme: Employment after Incarceration. Job-readiness training. Vocational training assistance through ACCES-VR. Help with important documents and NYCHA Family Re-Entry Program Application. Case management services and free access to computer labs. Referrals to substance abuse programs, job placement programs, clothing assistance programs, housing programs, mental health programs and more. Health coverage/ Medicaid enrollment.
Call 718-250-3281 or e-mail Reentry@BrooklynDA.Org for more information
POST-PRISON PROGRAM OPEN HOUSE/INFO SESSSION
HOW TO APPLY TO THE TUITION-FREE POST-PRISON PROGRAM
- Email Program Directors Emily Horowitz (email@example.com) or Eric Platt (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up for our 5/30/2019 Open House or to arrange for a tour/interview
- Apply to St. Francis College through their online application portal
- Fill out FAFSA and other Financial Aid Documents
JULY 25, 2019 | Room 6221
Come to an open house for prospective students – meet faculty, current students, graduates, and admissions representatives. Eat pizza and learn about our program. All are welcome, but an RSVP is required.
RSVP to email@example.com with full name/phone to register!
St. Francis College and Brooklyn Re-Entry Network Task Force Meeting
June 5th, 2019 12:30pm-2pm at St. Francis College
St. Francis College hosted an event with the Brooklyn DA’s Office on the Topic of Re-Entry. The Panel discussions included:
Kings County Re-entry Task Force updates (12:30 – 12:50)
Improving Education Options: St. Francis College representatives will discuss the SFC Post-Prison College Program. (12:50 – 1:45)
Improving Employment Options - Film: Unbecoming, a short film, is a family story set in present-day New York City. Troy and Tiffany are bi-racial siblings wrestling with the enduring racial justice debate. Attendees will view the film and producer Vee Bravo will lead discussion of the film and the role of film-making with regard to re-entry. (1:45 – 2:30)
Over 120 people were in attendance. The Panel featured Chris Owens, the director of the Re-Entry Bureau, as well as several students from the St. Francis Post Prison Program.
POST-PRISON PROGRAM OPEN HOUSE/INFO SESSION
MAY 30, 2019 at 6pm in Room 6221
Come to an open house for prospective students – meet faculty, current students, graduates, and admissions representatives. Eat pizza and learn about our program. All are welcome, but an RSVP is required
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with full name/phone to register!
St. Francis College’s Post-Prison Program serves justice-involved men and women looking to attain a bachelor’s degree as full-time students. For those with criminal justice histories, education reduces the risk of recidivism while opening up doors to a career path that can break the cycle of crime and poverty. Aligned with the mission of St. Francis College, our Franciscan tradition and commitment to helping disadvantaged and first-generation students earn a degree, the Post-Prison Program provides extensive academic, scholarship and mentoring support to formerly incarcerated men and women within a rigorous college program.
Post-Prison Program students enroll as full-time, bachelor's degree students during the re-entry process. Students with justice-involvement are engaged in a traditional college setting and receive additional support and mentorship. It is often the case that classmates don’t know about their criminal justice involvement. They are not stigmatized or publicly identified unless they choose to self-disclose, and their experience brings a new lens to class discussions and collaborative learning.
SFC Post-Prison Students On Reentry Challenges & College After Prison
April 23rd, 2019 | 11:10AM | Maroney Forum | St. Francis College | 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY
Free & Open To The Public // Receptions To Follow
The Post-Prison Program at SFC launched in 2014. Students, faculty and staff have found the initiative to be rewarding for the entire SFC community. Inspired by Hudson Link and other nonprofits that privately fund college programs in prisons, our program closely mentors this population as they finish their degrees during the re-entry process. In May 2018, our first cohort of 3 students graduated and we now have 11 enrolled students. This panel features current students discussing the importance of collage after incarceration, as well as re-entry challenges, the realities of mass incarceration policies, and experiences of solitary confinement. The students will shed light on other less tangible benefits of the SFC Program, including the structure provided by the program, safety, support, a heightened sense of belonging, improved-self esteem, and skills necessary for academic & professional success.
Former Prisoners Share Spoken Word Performances - November 1st, 2017
The event is co-sponsored by NYU Law School Prisoner's Rights and Education Project, the St. Francis College Post-Prison Program & the Institute for Peace & Justice.
Johnny Perez is a Criminal Justice major at St. Francis. He is a tireless advocate for those facing the challenges of re-entry after prison. He now works for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture as their Director of U.S. Prisons Program where advocates against the use of solitary confinement. He previously worked full-time at the Urban Justice Center as a re-entry advocate since 2014 while attending St. Francis College full-time. Last year, he was appointed to the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has worked to change the status quo of unjust policies and practices as a member of the the Jails Action Coalition and the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), as well as on the NY Bar Association's Correction and Reentry Committee.
A prison cell can dull even the most spirited minds, but for some, creativity is a way to get beyond the prison walls.
On November 1, 2017, St. Francis College student and member of the College's Post-Prison Program, Johnny Perez '18 showed home words led to positive action by hosting Diary of My State Pen, a night of poetry and performances by formerly incarcerated writers.
"Living in prison is like living in darkness, but creative expression is the illuminating light which often eliminated that darkness, not only for me, but for all the writers who will share their journey with us," said Perez.
Other performers include St. Francis College student Lazaro Lugo '21, Paragraph Lyn Robinson, Sean Dalpiaz, and Natficial Fellowmen.
Post-Prison Students Talk About Importance of Education and Reform - May 1st, 2017
Previously incarcerated students from St. Francis College's Post-Prison Program followed a May 1, 2017 screening of Rikers: An American Jail with a frank discussion on their experiences behind bars, at Rikers and other institutions, and their time now on the cusp of earning an undergraduate degree. Nearly 100 guests, including a large group of St. Francis faculty and students, attended the screening and stayed on for the panel discussion.
Johnny Perez '18, who spent 13 years behind bars and expects to graduate with a degree in Criminal Justice in January, moderated the panel. Perez has become a leading advocate on ending the use of solitary confinement (read a recently published editorial in USA Today). He now works at the Urban Justice Center as a Safe Reentry Advocate. Earlier this year he was appointed to the New York State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Perez has testified at numerous hearings, including before City Council and at the United Nations.
Three other students took part in the discussion.
Arielle Pierre '18, a Sociology and Criminal Justice major, said that enrolling at St. Francis after prison probably stopped her from getting into trouble again and that it was inspiring to be doing course work. She takes it much more seriously than before she was arrested.
Felix Colon '18 is studying criminal justice. He spent three years in Rikers before being moved to upstate prisons. He recently received some good news, because of his exemplary behavior he was released from lifetime parole.
Gabriel Grande '20 a Business Management major, talked about being a 16 year old thrust into a world of adults and told to be a man to survive. Now that he is out, he realizes prison has changed him and he needs to overcome those challenges.
Joining the students on the panel were members of the NYU Law School Prisoners' Rights and Education Project (PREP) which co-sponsored the event with St. Francis College.
Victoria Wenger, a student at NYU Law said that law school classes fail to offer context on the effects of incarceration on families and society as a whole and that only by meeting the people affected can you understand the impact of criminal laws and the prison system.
Defense attorney at the Center for Appellate Litigation, Anokhi Shah, an NYU Law graduate and founder of PREP's partnership project added that help with re-entry into mainstream society is a forgotten part of the prison process, but it can be the most important piece because of the many constraints and stigmas that are attached to people who served time.
Both Shah and Wenger said that their involvement with the students in the St. Francis program taught them as much as many of their classes at NYU Law about the real effects of the criminal justice system.
The post-prison opportunity program is co-directed by members of the Sociology & Criminal Justice and History departments at St. Francis. Founder and co-director Dr. Emily Horowitz is thrilled that a new group of students with criminal histories will be starting at St. Francis this fall.
"These students need our help, and our faculty and community welcome them and provide support so they successfully re-enter society after prison," said Professor Horowitz. "At the same time, our faculty, students, and community learn so much from these students, and they help us much more than we help them. They allow us to see the human casualties of our system of mass incarceration."
Rikers premiered on Thirteen earlier this month.
The Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition - March 12th, 2016
A panel discussion on solitary confinement, focusing on conditions in solitary confinement in New York State featured:
• Ricky James, host of "Unlocked" on 90.3 FM;
• Leigh-Anne Francis, professor of African/African-American/women and gender studies (College of New Jersey);
• Nate Williams, spoken word artist and musician;
• and Jennifer J. Parish, Director of Criminal Justice Advocacy, Mental Health Project Urban Justice Center
This event was co-organized by St. Francis College student Johnny Perez '17 of the Urban Justice Center and a student in the program, Post-Prison @ St. Francis College, and Issac Scott, of the Center for Justice at Columbia University and the Program Director of Confined Arts, Opportunities and Change.
The Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition is co-sponsored by the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement, Center for Crime and Popular Culture at St. Francis, Post-Prison College @ St. Francis College, New York University Prisoners' Rights and Education Project, and the Women's Poetry Initiative at St. Francis.
On March 12 St. Francis College welcomed, currently (via phone) and formerly incarcerated prisoners for The Confined Arts: Solitary Confinement Edition, a showcase on how art and poetry can transcend prison walls while drawing the inhumanity of solitary confinement into sharp focus.
Artwork inspired by solitary confinement was on display while survivors offered spoken word performances and poetry about their time. One performer was Spoon Jackson who spoke from a California correctional facility where he is serving a life sentence.
Representatives from Opportunities and Change and the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement also spoke.
St. Francis/NYU Law School Holiday Party - 2015