Our Work

Free Minds uses books and creative writing to empower young inmates to transform their lives. By mentoring and connecting them to supportive services throughout their entire incarceration into reentry, Free Minds inspires these youths to see their potential and achieve new educational and career goals.

Free Minds serves 16 and 17 year old youths who have been charged and incarcerated as adults at the DC Jail. Free Minds serves more than 600 youths and adults each year across three successive phases: the Jail Book Club, Prison Book Club, and Reentry Book Club.

View a photo essay by Free Minds member Eddie explaining his experience with the different phases of Free Minds:
“I grew up around so much violence that I thought going to jail was cool.  In my neighborhood, that was just what happened when you grew up.”
Eddie’s Free Minds Photo Essay May 2014

Each time I visit, I leave thoroughly impressed by these young men. The Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop has opened up the minds and hearts of a lot of these guys. Here, writing is used as a tool for them to express and heal themselves and that is extremely beneficial to their future.
– Etan Thomas, Washington Wizards player and author of More Than An Athlete