In Focus presents Locked Out: The path from incarceration to inclusion

Minnesota’s recidivism rate has improved over the years, with fewer people being sent back to prison within three years of being released. But what happens when they try to secure a job or find housing?

MPR News and partner Tech Dump presents this In Focus event, a conversation hosted by Angela Davis about the challenges faced by Minnesota’s formerly incarcerated residents upon re-entry into the community and how we can become a more welcoming state. Watch a recording of the discussion above.

Keep the conversation going and help kick off the In Focus Facebook Group by joining Richard MacLemore II for an extended Q&A after today's In Focus event. This group will help inform future In Focus events and MPR News reporting on disparities in Minnesota. Join here.

Twin Cities-based Tech Dump is one of the largest collectors and recyclers of electronic waste in Minnesota. The nonprofit operates as a social enterprise that provides jobs and training for adults facing barriers to employment.

Resources

Here are some additional resources and information aggregated by Tech Dump:

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Nadine Graves is a public defender who has represented hundreds of people charged with criminal offenses ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. She currently represents parents in child protection civil cases and is chair of the board for the nonprofit We Are All Criminals, an organization working to challenge people’s perceptions of what it means to be “criminal.” She also hosts a podcast called “The Waiting Room.” The daughter of Liberian immigrants, Graves holds degrees from Delaware State University and Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Richard McLemore II is the executive director of McLemore Holdings, an African American, culturally inclusive organization focused on providing holistic professional development workshops, renters and homebuyers education courses, wealth building courses and healing circles to people in need, including to formerly incarcerated community members. He was previously the housing director for Ujamaa Place, which serves primarily African American men ages 18 to 30 from the Twin Cities metro area. He has also worked with the city of St. Paul’s ETHOS diversion program and serves on the board of directors for We Are All Criminals.

Brother Shane M. Price is the co-founder of The Power of People Leadership Institute, where he is the lead trainer. The personal development and leadership training program has been offered to offenders at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Faribault since December 2005 and has since expanded to facilities in Lino Lakes, Moose Lake and Rush City. He also directs the program’s two re-entry houses in north Minneapolis. He previously worked for Hennepin County as an administrative assistant, research analyst and as coordinator of the African American Men Project.

Josh Wilson is employed by the Department of Public Works for the city of Minneapolis. Part of Josh’s story is that he has served four sentences in Minnesota penitentiaries. After his last release in 2010, he wanted a change and connected to resources that continue to sustain him today: a great mentor, a strong spiritual faith, and steady employment. Josh entered the jobs training program at Tech Dump, created for people who face barriers to employment, and graduated in 2012. He is a resource for individuals who are beginning the process of re-entry after incarceration.

Editor’s Note (Feb. 25, 2021): This page has been updated with audio from the event as broadcast on MPR News, additional links shared during the event, and updates to the bios for Graves, Price and Wilson. An earlier version of this page included an extra ‘the’ in the name of Price’s organization.

MPR News’ In Focus is a series of convenings we are committed to leading on Minnesota’s persistent racial disparities. Through conversations with community leaders that are shaped by our curious, engaged audience, MPR News hopes to encourage new connections and relationships that will help Minnesota communities make progress toward equity and inclusion.

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