Project 180 was founded in response to the overwhelming need for prisoner reentry programs. Over 30,000 Florida prisoners are released annually and reenter our communities. Many wish to become law-abiding citizens and have the best intention of living a conventional life yet most have few job skills, lack a formal education, and experience discrimination in housing and job markets because of their felony records.
As a result, they become our local statistics-the homeless,the unemployed, the under-educated, the impoverished. Unable to make it in the conventional world, over 60% are rearrested for a new crime within three years causing further victimization and a drain on community resources.
Project 180 seeks to break this cycle by providing workforce education and financial literacy classes for inmates and an annual reentry lecture series for the general public. I had the opportunity to present to a group of inmates at the Desoto Annex. The number one factor in ensuring success as a mainstream citizen is employment. It offers structure, dignity and a new social network in addition to a paycheck. Volunteer CEOs share insider tips with prisoners on how to find, obtain and retain a job in felon-friendly industries. This is such a valuable program and one I was honored to participate in.
If you would like to learn more about Project 180 or participate in the CEO Program, you can learn more here or give us a call!