Empowerment Blog

The Prison to School Pipeline

This article highlights five individuals who are changing the statistics on the outcome of education for incarcerated individuals. Spelman College and University of Michigan Law School Alum GeDa' Jones Herbert is the site manager at Fresh Lifelines for Youth, a nonprofit that has a 12-week program for system-involved youth. Read about the great work that she and others are doing below, as they are the true definition of F.I.R.E.!

These five alumni—lawyers, educators, analysts—are working to improve the part of the pipeline that receives less attention: the one leading from incarceration back to the classroom. And from there—with some work—to a brighter future. 

CHRISTINA GRANT is assistant superintendent of Philadelphia's alternative schools and has placed a big bet on the power of career and technical education to improve life prospects for incarcerated youth. Will it pay off?

EMILY FOX is drafting an updated Juvenile Justice Local Action Plan for the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families. 

GEDÁ JONES HERBERT teaches students about the law and how to navigate it, even in a system that often seems set up against them.

RACHEL BRADY is working to ensure incarcerated students with disabilities are receiving the same accommodations they would receive at school if they weren’t in custody. 

RAHEIM SMITH is a special education teacher in Brooklyn serving adolescents awaiting trial and those already sentenced to detention.