A seminar, “Prisons to Prosperity,” will be presented by the Bronx Clergy Roundtable and the Think outside the Cell Foundation this Saturday, October 26, at Lehman College in the Bronx. The seminar’s goal is the encouragement of individuals with criminal records to consider entrepreneurship.
It makes perfect sense since some criminals do have entrepreneurial backgrounds. They can take their natural skills and talent and use all in a positive manner. Drug dealers are entrepreneurs doing business on the wrong side of the street. They need to know their market, production, cost, profit, and oversee their employees, if they want to be successful.
This idea of entrepreneurship eliminates the employer refusing employment because of a criminal conviction. Many employers, will not look beyond the individual’s past, and they ignore completely the person who has submitted an application for employment.
On a personal note, I was surprised at the raw talent of individuals who were incarcerated with me. Once I was in a holding cell in Baltimore, I listened to a young inmate explain a complicated legal motion to another inmate. This inmate knew the law and explained the legal intricacies better than most criminal attorneys. As I Listened to his explanation, I knew that a talented mind was wasting away in prison. I learned later from this young man that he had not even graduated high school and that he had five individuals working for him on the streets before he was arrested.
With the right encouragement and programs,this young man would make an excellent entrepreneur. By taking the appropriate steps, we can reduce unemployment, lower the recidivism rate, and improve our society.
For more information about the Prisons to Prosperity Seminar:
Saturday, October 26 at 9 a.m.
Lehman College – Music Hall
250 Bedford Park West, Bronx, NY
Call 718-231-1033 or visit thinkoutsidethecell.org