BY JULE PATTISON-GORDON | THE BAY STATE BANNER
School of Reentry opens in Roslindale, offering skills & life training to 25 inmates
Inmates are trading bars for books in a new program designed to ease their reentry into civilian life. The Baker-Polito administration’s newly-opened School of Reentry aims to address education gaps among its student and cultivate skills to help them land jobs and reconnect with their communities once they leave the correctional system.
The school opened on March 28 at the Boston Pre-Release Center in Roslindale. It serves 25 live-in students. All are men from minimum security. They will spend 12-18 months in the program, studying in class for six hours a day as well as completing homework, toward the goal of graduating with six to nine college credit hours. The academic program is supplemented with substance abuse treatment and counseling, anger management training and personal development training.
“Making the successful transition from incarceration back into society is fraught with challenges, not the least of which is bridging the skills gap,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a press release.
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The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project is a program at Auburn University dedicated to bringing educational opportunities to prisoners in Alabama. The program is helping the adult prison population to gain a quality education, and also to build a relationship with learning that will continue to grow for the rest of their lives.
APAEP provides access to sustained and quality educational experiences in the arts, humanities, hard sciences, and human sciences. APAEP believes that education provides a fertile field for transformation and growth and that these learning experiences contribute to the positive development of the person. Auburn University
Kyes Stevens is the Founder and Director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project. She often describes the beginning of the program as “one poet in one class” but the lesser known fact is that Kyes was that one poet.
Growing up in nearby Waverly, Alabama, Kyes Stevens earned an undergraduate degree in English from the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn. Following graduation, she went to work on a Wagon Train for troubled youth before earning a master’s in Women’s History and a M.F.A. in poetry from the Sarah Lawrence College in New York. With a love for writing, she began teaching poetry at the Talladega Federal Prison through a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This one teaching experience inspired Kyes to develop the Alabama Prison Ars and Education Initiative (name change) in 2002. More than ten years later with record program growth and success, Kyes remains the backbone of the program. Auburn University