Returning Citizens Talk Criminal Justice Reform

This spring, Free Minds collaborated with national nonprofit The Education Trust, who through a network of motivated advocates, fights to achieve high academic achievement for all students— particularly those of color or living in poverty. Together, Free Minds and The Education Trust hosted “Educational Justice: Centering the Voices and Experiences of Incarcerated Individuals,” a panel discussion deeply rooted in lived experiences of those personally impacted by incarceration. Read More

PBS NewsHour Highlights Free Minds Book Club

For nearly two decades, we have witnessed young Free Minds members evolve into men whom have become avid readers, students, leaders, advocates, authors, educators, role models, and change makers. With the transformative powers of reading and writing, our members have achieved success behind bars and as returning citizens.

Earlier this year, PBS NewsHour reached out to Free Minds to profile our innovative program model, which provides a safe space for members to both process and heal from trauma and envision new futures through reading, writing, and community building. Proven to help “free minds” of those incarcerated, reading and writing has helped our members achieve a 13% recidivism rate (compared to the national average of 75.9%), as well. Read More

Free Minds Members Changing the Narrative on Book TV!

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop is spreading the message of “books and belonging,” as we like to say, on a national platform! We had the pleasure of inviting C-SPAN 2’s Book TV crew into the DC Jail to film one of our book club sessions in its entirety.

Book TV filmed and produced a segment documenting our book club on the education unit at the DC Jail, with Free Minds Book Club Facilitators Clint Smith and Stacey Houston. The book club on the education unit meets biweekly, with book club members—many of whom had little to no exposure to literature prior joining the club—coming together to read, engage in group discussion, and write and share poetry. Read More

Author Danielle Evans Visits Book Club at DC Jail

Danielle Evans, acclaimed author of the short story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, sat down with the members of one of our book clubs at the DC Jail for a wide-ranging discussion on writing, voice, perspective, fiction, and more.

Free Minds conducts book clubs on two units at the DC Jail, the education unit and the young adult unit (ages 18-25). The members of the education unit read and discussed the book Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self in anticipation of the session with Danielle Evans, who also teaches writing in addition to her career as a fiction writer. Read More

Author Tiffany Jackson Visits Free Minds Book Club at New Beginnings

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop launched its book club at New Beginnings Youth Development Center in Fall 2018. A residential treatment facility for youths, the development center provides rehabilitation and planning for young people through educational services, workforce development, health care, and community engagement. Read More