On August 12, 2013, Eric Holder, the US Attorney General, gave his annual address to the American Bar Association in San Francisco. Holder took the opportunity to declare that our prison system is broken and needs to be reformed. He cited the following statistics: “While the entire U.S. population has increased by about a third since 1980, the federal prison population has grown…by almost 800 percent… Even though this country comprises just 5 percent of the world’s population, we incarcerate almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.”
Summer is one of my favorite seasons and this summer has been one of the most gratifying. Through a partnership between InsideOUT Writers and Summer Night Lights, I was given the opportunity to teach creative writing to young people in South Central Los Angeles and Highland Park. This experience was one-of-a-kind and opened doors for me to grow as a young artist, teacher and motivational speaker. more
On October 19th, more than 30 students along with their parents, teachers, Probation and IOW staff and special guests gathered in the Compound at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall for the final Writers’ Retreat of 2013. Retreats are held annually at each of the three juvenile halls where IOW has classes and provide an opportunity for students in different living units to come together as a community to celebrate their writing accomplishments. The Barry J. Nidorf Retreat is unique in that parents are allowed to attend.
On October 3rd, 2013, board members Barry Nugent, Ian Fischler, Brian Leuchtenburg and Mickey Mandelbaum hosted the 3rd Annual Beach Party Fundraiser as the sun set at a Malibu beach house. Among the 85 guests were alumni, teachers, staff, volunteers, and other board members. In addition to raising funds to support IOW’s work to reduce the juvenile recidivism rate, the event also served as an opportunity for guests to learn about the Writing and Alumni Programs. more
Finding employment in this job market is tough enough, but imagine having to do it while contending with employer bias, limited education and work experience as well as a criminal record. These are the barriers that our alumni — formerly incarcerated youth and young adults — face every day. In the fight to stay out of jail, employment is a key factor. In fact, several studies have linked the high recidivism rate among formerly incarcerated persons with their lack of education and employment opportunities.
InsideOUT Writers is honored to be a part of a community of organizations and individuals who are committed to transforming the juvenile justice system. This column highlights people who are making a difference. In this issue, Markese Freeman of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, discusses the tragedy of sex trafficking in LA County.
I Inspire Me
Close your eyes
& picture a bright light more
“My name is Alex and this is my poem.”
The holidays are filled with emotional highs and lows that serve as memorable placeholders for the rest of our lives. Most of us do our best to treasure what we have, though we often obsess about what we do not. more
Although the majority of IOW classes are held inside Los Angeles County’s three juvenile halls, partnerships with other organizations and institutions allow IOW teachers to reach a broader population. more