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

Free Minds uses books and creative writing to empower incarcerated youths and adults 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 more than 1,000 incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youths and adults each year in the DC Jail, juvenile detention center, federal prison system, and reentry.

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.”