Posts Tagged ‘cornyn’

This year, PEP is very proud to announce that our Houston Employer of the Year is Cedric Hornbuckle … the charismatic leader behind Moved by Love, LLC.

(Cedric is also a PEP Graduate who recently met with Senator John Corynyn to tell him more about his business and the impact of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program).

Here are some photos of Cedric at the 2014 Houston eSchool Graduation Dinner. Cedric was recognized at the ceremony for his many contributions to PEP over the years, particularly his service as a mentor and employer to our recently released graduates.

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As mentioned in this blog from a few weeks ago, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and his wife Sandy Cornyn visited the Prison Entrepreneurship Program‘s Houston office to learn how PEP has delivered some of the nation’s best results in prison rehabilitation.

“I was very impressed by the work PEP is doing to provide hope and a second chance to individuals willing to do the hard work to make a positive change in their lives. By promoting personal responsibility and equipping individuals with the education and tools necessary to succeed, PEP is reforming lives and strengthening Texas communities,” said United States Senator John Cornyn after the event.

Below are some more photos from the event, which included a press conference during which the Senator described some legislation that he has drafted in response to an increasing awareness of the impact of programs like PEP.

Together, we are rethinking prison!

 

The following article was featured on U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s own blog (here) after his recent visit to the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (see prior blogs here and here).

Last week, Senator John Cornyn visited Houston to talk about new reforms that would help former convicts start their own businesses.

Senator Cornyn hosted a round table meeting with the leadership team of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (“PEP”) and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to learn more about how the PEP has fundamentally transformed the lives of inmates post-incarceration.

In the simplest of terms, the PEP serves as a business school for inmates, with the goal of turning former criminals into productive members of society. Established in 2004, the Houston-based nonprofit connects the nation’s top executives, entrepreneurs, and MBA students with convicted felons. Senator Cornyn was able to meet with several business owners who have become successful with the help of the Program.

‘The truth is that thousands of people will be released from prison every year, and the question is, do they end up going back to prison?’ said Senator Cornyn, after speaking with PEP participants.

You can check out Univision’s coverage of the round table HERE.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has recently released a report on Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 (NCJ 244205). The report, which included Texas (where the Prison Entrepreneurship Program currently operates), examines the 5-year post-release offending patterns of persons released from state prisons in 2005 by offender characteristics, prior criminal history, and commitment offense.

Among state prisoners released in 30 states in 2005—

  • About two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and three-quarters (76.6%) were arrested within 5 years.
  • More than a third (36.8%) of all prisoners who were arrested within 5 years of release were arrested within the first 6 months after release, with more than half (56.7%) arrested by the end of the first year.
  • A sixth (16.1%) of released prisoners were responsible for almost half (48.4%) of the nearly 1.2 million arrests that occurred in the 5-year follow-up period.

At PEP, we see recidivism as one of the most pernicious challenges facing the future of our country. Every inmate who returns to prison costs taxpayers an average of $31,000 per year … not including the tremendous damage caused by their crimes, the loss of their income to their families and more.

Thankfully, your support of our work has begun to shed new light on how our country can address this challenge. That is why U.S. Senator John Cornyn recently visited PEP to learn more about our work, and why so many different states have contacted us to learn about our unparalleled results.

What do you think about this study?

As our country learns more about the impact of recidivism, are there other questions that we should be asking?

For example, what percentage of these recidivists were unemployed at the time of their re-arrest? If employed, how did their wages compare to their income before incarceration? What percentage of their income was being spent on rent and basic living costs? Or, perhaps, what percentage were not able to afford a place to live at all?

None of the answers to these questions would excuse a return to crime. However, if we do not understand the background of those who do recidivate, we will never be able to reduce their likelihood of returning to crime.

In our ten years of experience at PEP, we have seen that the inability to secure a living wage is one of the leading sources of stress among people returning from prison. Followed by an inability to find safe, affordable housing, this stress can often lead to the poor decision-making that lands them back in jail or prison. This is particularly the case with drug offenders, many of whom did not receive appropriate treatment for their substance abuse while incarcerated.

By first equipping our participants with the ability to earn a decent living, and then surrounding them with a supportive environment in which to continue rebuilding their lives after release from prison, PEP has delivered some of the nation’s best results in terms of reducing crime among former prisoners.

Your support of our mission drives these results. Thank you!

Restored Hope. New Identity.

Cedric H (Moved by Love) with U.S. Senator John Cornyn

Cedric H (Moved by Love) with U.S. Senator John Cornyn

Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and his wife Sandy Cornyn visited the Prison Entrepreneurship Program‘s Houston office to learn how PEP has delivered some of the nation’s best results in prison rehabilitation. After the meeting, the Senator stated:

“I was very impressed by the work PEP is doing to provide hope and a second chance to individuals willing to do the hard work to make a positive change in their lives. By promoting personal responsibility and equipping individuals with the education and tools necessary to succeed, PEP is reforming lives and strengthening Texas communities,” said United States Senator John Cornyn. He further stated that he plans to take what he learned from PEP back to Washington, D.C.

See photo gallery below.

The meeting included a tour of our offices as well as a roundtable discussion with PEP’s leadership team, representatives from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Rockwell Fund and RKI (one of the largest employers of PEP’s graduates).

One of the highlights of the meeting was introducing the Senator to several of our graduates who are now running their own businesses. This included Cedric H., founder of Moved by Loved, who is pictured below along with a fellow PEP graduate who is now working for Cedric.

Several reporters were present for the event, which was followed by a press conference during which Sen. Cornyn discussed “The Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act” (which he has sponsored along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)). The legislation would address multiple aspects of prison reform, including requiring the Bureau of Prisons to offer programs like PEP to eligible inmates nationwide.

You can read more about this visit via Houston Public Media’s article here:
http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/news/cornyn-touts-houstonbased-prison-program-promotes-reform-bill/

You can also listen to this story here: