Paul Blasenheim ’12 writes in:
Join us on Monday, December 5th, (FOR FREE THAI FOOD!) and for an intimate look into the institutional, social, and cultural challenges facing ex-offenders in the state of Connecticut. Hear about the mission of four formerly incarcerated men from the Ex-Offender Alumni Association who work to address the multifaceted needs of recently released inmates. The Family Reentry staff is at the forefront of reentry work in Connecticut, working with both ex-offenders and at-risk youth to provide a holistic and heartfelt intervention into this state’s most pressing human rights issue. Speaking from their own experiences and the years of work they have done with ex-offenders, these men will discuss the overwhelming obstacles facing offenders upon reentry, and the importance of recognizing ex-offenders as fathers, family members, and community members as a crucial step towards curbing recidivism rates and ending the perpetual generational cycle of imprisonment.
Date: Monday, Dec. 5
Time: 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Place: Judd 116
- Born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Kenneth Robert Jackson is the co-founder of the Ex-Offender Alumni Association. While serving a 14-year prison term, Jackson became a public speaker and activist, meeting with youth and school groups to talk about his experiences. After being released, Jackson began his own nonprofit organization, which paired at-risk youth with ex-offenders who were able to serve as positive mentors, speaking towards the true issues facing these teens. This program led to the creation of the Family Reentry Beacon Program Community Mentoring, where he now serves as the director of the mentoring program, working with youth to help curb the cycle of incarceration.
- Daee McKnight serves as the re-entry coordinator for Family Reentry, facilitating pre-release groups for offenders at prisons throughout Connecticut. He received his Associates Degree with Honors while incarcerated in a Connecticut prison. After serving nearly eighteen years in prison, he is committed to serving his family, community, and impacting the ex-offender population. He was awarded the Department of Corrections Volunteer Service Award for Positive Role Model in 2009.
- James Ghant began his relationship with Family Reentry as a client in 2007, following a thirty-year prison sentence. By 2008 he had joined the staff, and he currently serves as a case manager and supervisor of an ex-offender residential facility. Raised in Stamford, CT, he is committed to paying off his debt to society and to his community.
- Frederick Hodges began volunteering with Family Reentry in the summer of 2007. His passion and commitment was quickly recognized, and he was hired as a case manager in 2008. He currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Fresh Start programs. After growing up in Bridgeport and serving a prison sentence in Connecticut, he became a certified CIT, and has become a leader in Bridgeport and a positive role model in his community.