Reentry Book Club

While some Free Minds members receive lengthy sentences, the majority of Free Minds members serve between three and seven years before they are released into the community. Building upon a sustained connection made in the DC Jail Book Club and Federal Prison Book Club, Free Minds connects its recently released members to the resources and programs in the community that will help them achieve their educational and career goals.

The Free Minds Reentry Book Club includes five key components: 1) a weekly Job Readiness and Personal Skill Building Apprenticeship for recently-released members, with workshops on topics such as computer literacy, financial literacy, job interviews, storytelling, and more; 2) a weekly book club and writing workshop known as “The Build Up” (named by a Free Minds member, referring to the way prison and the streets tear people down, but Free Minds builds people up); 3) on-the-job work experiences with DC-area remodeling, cleaning and landscaping companies; 4) personalized connections to job opportunities, education schools, and community programs or services as needed; and 5) the opportunity to give back to the community as a Poet Ambassador in our “On the Same Page” program.

Reentry Book Club members form the core of Free Minds’s “On the Same Page” initiative (see here), where they practice their leadership skills and share from their own experiences to prevent youth violence and to educate and inspire others.

Thank you note

Eddie in the office

The Book Club has helped me expand my mind in ways I thought wasn’t possible being as though I grew up in the public housing.  To this day I’m still thankful for everything and I plan to show you all once I’m back into society.  I have about 90 days until I’m able to re-enter society and share my story with teens growing up as I once did and that’s all thanks to Free Minds.  So I want to take this time to say thank you to the entire Free Minds.
– Gary, age 22