Monday, November 2, 2015
BY FERLANDA FOX NIXON
November 2, 2015
On Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) welcomed President Barack Obama on his latest stop on his national tour on criminal justice reform. With more than 600,000 individuals released from state and federal prisons each year, President Obama shared his sense of urgency to create a criminal justice system that is fairer and more effective and breaks the poverty, criminality, and incarceration stranglehold that often impairs lives, particularly African-American and Latino males, and destroys communities, especially distressed urban areas.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
GLADYS P. TODD ACADEMY’S SUMMER BRIDGE PROGRAM PAVES HIGHER LEARNING PATH
Posted: Saturday, July 18, 2015 12:00 am
by Dawnthea Price / The Free Lance Star
Germanna Community College President David A. Sam gazed out at an auditorium jam-packed with students, parents and educators.
The 60 newly minted graduates of the Gladys P. Todd Academy’s Summer Bridge program sat up front.
They had just spent two weeks learning more about the rigors of college coursework through lectures, projects and field trips that culminated in a final presentation and skit.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
NY Times Sunday Review | OPINION
By JOHN J. LENNON, APRIL 4, 2015
ATTICA, N.Y. — EVER wonder what prisoners do and talk about? Well, at the Attica Correctional Facility, we’re all tucked away in cellblocks watching TV. We watch a lot — all day, all night. Then we talk about what we’re watching. Conversation tumbles through the bars, about movies, ball games and the news on CNN. I hear voices, as if in a trance, rap along to Bobby Shmurda’s new music video on BET. The lyrics — about dealing drugs, toting guns and committing murder — sound like an anthem for the lives many of us have lived.
We don’t have access to the Internet but prison officials are all for TVs in the cells. It’s called the “TV program.” When prisoners watch TV instead of going to the yard, there’s less violence. We’re entertained and confined and everyone’s happy. But the TVs could be put to better use.
What if, a few times a week, massive open online courses, or MOOCs, were streamed on the prison’s internal station, channel 3? Companies like Coursera already record university lectures — in subjects like psychology, sociology, existentialism, economics and political science — and stream them online for free. The MOOCs, which are free for the rest of the world, could help American prisoners become more educated and connected.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
The ochre-breasted bird perched on the chain-link fence and chirped, his song wafting across the front yard and through the open window to where Jerry Grimsley sat in a tweed recliner.
“Is that a robin?” asked his sister, Vickie Chevrette.
Last year, the harbinger of spring would have symbolized another winter survived in the woods. Last week, the bird was simply a mellifluous visitor in the yard Grimsley shares with Chevrette and John Worthington.
In early January, the three packed their tents, tarps, sleeping bags, kerosene heaters and portable generators and moved from the woods near Massaponax, in Spotsylvania, to a small home in the same county.
Friday, March 6, 2015
BY JEFF BRANSCOME/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
While in prison, Julius Berger started taking classes, thanks to a program funded by Doris Buffett. Berger says that while he was in Coffeewood Correctional Center, Buffett was his first and only visitor at that prison.