An Economic Opportunity Event
Hosted by The Philanthropy Roundtable
Co-hosted with Texas Public Policy Foundation, Conference of Southwest Foundations, and Greater Houston Community Foundation
Charting a Path from Criminality to Opportunity explored innovative solutions to the growing problem of incarceration and recidivism. Nearly 1 out of every 31 Americans is now in prison or on parole or probation, and correctional expenses nationally have grown from approximately $20 billion in 1980 to over $74 billion today. More the 700,000 prisoners are released each year; up to 70% will return to prison within a few years partly due to the challenges that they face at finding housing, getting jobs and rebuilding their lives. This is also a multi-generational issue, since the 7.3 million children who have a parent in prison are at extremely high risk of entering the criminal justice system themselves. How can we break this cycle? This program provided a forum for philanthropists to hear from public policy experts, nonprofit direct service providers, and donor speakers, as they shared effective models and strategies for reform. It also offered a site visit to the Cleveland Correctional Center to see how the Prison Entrepreneurship Program connects executive volunteers with prison inmates through a “mini MBA” program that has delivered an 80% reduction in recidivism.
Wednesday, February 27 – Site Visit
12:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Prison Entrepreneurship Program site visit to the Cleveland Correctional Center
*Complimentary transportation provided from the Houstonian Hotel.
The Prison Entrepreneurship Program at the Cleveland Correctional Center connects executive volunteers with prison inmates through a “mini MBA” program that has equipped 100 percent of recent graduates to find employment within 90 days of release and trained over 100 of them to start their own businesses. This optional site visit takes a closer look at how this program has delivered an 80 percent reduction in recidivism.
*Please note: Due to the clearance process to enter the prison, any attendees wishing to attend the site visit must register for the site visit no later than February 20, 2013. For details and guidelines regarding this site visit, click here.
Thursday, February 28 – Program
7:30 a.m. Registration and Networking Breakfast Available
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks
- Adam Meyerson, president, The Philanthropy Roundtable
9:05 a.m. Public Policy Challenges in Criminal Justice
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Nearly 1 out of every 31 Americans is now in prison, on parole, or on probation. Correctional expenses nationally have grown from approximately $20 billion in 1980 to over $74 billion today, fueled by the premise that public safety was best protected by putting more people in prison. Facing mounting social and economic costs, policy analysts are seeing alternatives to the “lock’em up and throw away the key” mentality. What opportunities and challenges do we face in criminal justice reform, based on new research, models, and strategies?
- Adam Gelb, director of public safety performance project, Pew Center on the States
- Ingrid Johnson, director, City of Newark’s Office of Reentry
- Marc Levin, director of Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation, and senior policy advisor, Right on Crime
- Brooke Rollins, president, Texas Public Policy Foundation (Moderator)
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Leveraging Community-Based Organizations in Reform
Of the more than 700,000+ prisoners who are released each year, up to 70 percent will return to prison within a few years, in part due to the challenges that they face at finding housing, getting jobs, and rebuilding their lives. This is also a multi-generational issue, since the 7.3 million children who have a parent in prison are at extremely high risk of entering the criminal justice system themselves. How can we break this cycle and help facilitate better transitions while still protecting public safety and respecting the rights of victims?
- Jim Liske, CEO, Prison Fellowship Ministries
- Patrick O’Brien, chairman of the board, Rogers-O’Brien Construction
- Sandy Schultz, president and CEO, the WorkFaith Connection
- John Sage, founder, Bridges to Life
- Byron Harrell, Baptist Community Ministries (Moderator)
11:45 a.m. Break
12:00 p.m. Luncheon - Innovating New Approaches to Justice
Keynote address by David Kennedy, director of the center for Crime Prevention & Control, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and author of “Don’t Shoot: One Man A Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America,” shares his perspectives on one of the biggest challenges in criminal justice: gang and inner-city violence. His approach promotes an intervention that draws together gang members, drug dealers, cops, and community members to battle violence and crime.
1:30 p.m. Break
1:45 p.m. Private Action and Philanthropy in Criminal Justice Reform
In this session, several donors will share their experiences in funding criminal justice reform. What has drawn them to invest in this issue? What are some of their “lessons learned”? What approaches do they see as promising, and what models or organizations do they support?
- Tim Dunn, CEO, Crownquest Operating and, board member, Texas Public Policy Foundation
- Mike Humphrey, senior vice president, Tanglewood Investments
- Donald Ross, founder, M+R Strategic Services
- Steven Goodman, director, Albert & Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation (Moderator)
Closing remarks by Jo Kwong, director of economic opportunity programs, The Philanthropy Roundtable