Category Archives: Alternatives to Incarceration

2CU: OK, I was Wrong

Yesterday had the opportunity to attend the River Council Business Networking event and must admit… I was wrong.

Held at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Sanford, the folks attending (and operating) were not what I had expected or were accustomed to. Professional, courteous, respectful, and genuinely interested are just a few words summarizing the experience.

Thanks to Kate Crockett from ECPI University, our non-profit targeting those who are justice-involved is developing a stronger sense of community and support.

Together we can make a difference
Together we can make a difference

Here’s how I was wrong

  • The event was not a waste of time
  • Folks at the River Council Business Networking event care about the community

After the conclusion of the event, multiple business and individuals approached to share their stories, add to the list of contacts, and more importantly, prove this organization (and members) possess a human element.

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues.

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference. On this note, I will be sending out follow-up communications to those giving me their cards at the meeting…

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
http://www.2ndChanceUniversity.org
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

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2CU: Stick / Sleep and Escape

Freedom can never be taken
Freedom never can be taken

For convicts doing time, sleep and escape may be the only way to retain sanity. Stick drives this concept home for those who have never experienced incarceration.

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled. Our material and empowering workshops are about real people, real life, and real issues.

Take note of what Stick has to say and respond to the insight questions honestly.

Stick

Edgar Allan Poe referred to sleep as small slices of death. Truth is, sleep is the only escape from these walls many of us will ever obtain. Sadly, the meager reprieve of sleep fades into the sickening awareness of where we are.

Insight

Other than their physical bodies being held in prison, where do you think an inmates mind is at and why?

The gray morning rises with icicles hanging from the bars of the penitentiary. Frigid cement floors bite our bare feet as we make our bunk and wash our face for another day. The harsh grating sounds of the steel doors sliding open signal most of us that it’s time for work.

We step out from what we call our house, but most people would call a cell, into a condemned miniature population. Some of us are inmates, some of us are convicts, but everyone here wears white as well as time.

Insight

As Stick mentions, everyone wears white as well as time, but some are inmates and some are convicts. If you were to go prison, do you picture yourself as an inmate or as a convict (why one and not the other)? 

I believe in hope, I believe in people, and I believe in second chances.

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
http://www.2ndChanceUniversity.org
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2CU: The Real Thing

Throughout our programs Stick and Duck detail their experiences about doing time. Though there are entertaining movies and books about prison life, those don’t compare to the real thing.

The Real Thing

Bosses scream while walking the runs of our prison wing all day and most of the night. The nights are the worst. Some of their voices are all right but most of them grate on our nerve endings, like fingernails screeching against a blackboard. Other sounds pierce the fleet slices of nightly solitude.

The banging of locker doors, the abusive curses from one row to another, and the pitiful pleadings and crying of, “please no more, no more” make this world one nobody could understand without experiencing it.

We cover our ears, longing for the unnatural acts to be over quickly. A few of us begin to pray for the person being molested. We get very little sleep.

Stick

Insight

What do you think you know about doing time and prison life?

Doing Time:

Prison life:

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues.

For those wishing to partner with 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
http://www.2ndChanceUniversit.org
2nd Chance University, nonprofit 501(c)
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

The Human Element

2nd Chance University believes everyone can reach their mountaintop no matter the obstacles in the way. Our programs rely on trauma informed care, behavioral best-practice approaches, cultural and holistic theories, and the most important ingredient threading success: the human element.

All Deserve the Opportunity to Rise

Never forgot the look on my kid’s faces, a boy and a girl ages 10 and 8, when I saw them for prison visitation. When they saw me the first look on their small faces was pain and my daughter’s eyes filled with tears. It broke my heart to see their initial expressions and I too choked up. I vowed in my heart once out, I would do what it took to stay out and be a good father.
Stick

Insight

Why do you think the “human element” is missing from so many programs dealing with the justice-involved?


What do you think “human element” means?


2nd Chance University is a nonprofit partnering with organizations and institutions dedicated to empower those who have stumbled. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2CU: Mark and You

Fresh from prison release, Mark gives a unique perspective many will identify with.

Mark

Used to get around fine, hitting around the block and doing enough to get things done. Got into some trouble and needed cash in a hurry. The guy I was delivering to was not who he was supposed to be.

Same old story. Got busted and found a way out by going inside. Did some time in county and a year in state. Not much time but enough to know I got the rest of my life with this on my back.

After getting released, not many places gave me a chance. Got my GED inside, but that’s not enough.  Don’t know if I am going to make it but hoping this series can help get me on the track and out of prison. Truth is, without a job doesn’t look like a good start.

Oh yeah, name’s Mark and I got out 26 days ago.

Insight

In what ways can you identify with Mark?

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2CU: Robert and Accepting Defeat

Continuing with our work and getting you a front seat as to our programs, time to introduce Robert. As always, share and respond to the insight.

Robert:

 Hey, I’m Robert. I work in construction, or at least I did until a few months ago. Boss fired me because the company wasn’t doing well. I know they are getting plenty of business so I’m pretty upset about not working; probably has to do with my arrest.  

True enough, I’m more of a construction laborer but I still have lots to offer. Now, I can’t seem to find a job no matter how hard I try. I’m 24 years old and all I’ve ever done is construction work. They don’t want to hire somebody my age or maybe they think I can’t handle the job. It may be time for me to move on from manual labor, but I don’t know how. 

All the jobs I apply for wash out, and I can’t live off unemployment forever. I need a job now, any job. Don’t want to be in the system (prison) but I am ready to give up.

Insight: Sounds like Robert has accepted defeat. What advice would you share with Robert if he was in the classroom right now? Have you ever accepted defeat?

My advice to Robert would be:

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

Here’s what happens when I accept defeat:

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                               

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues.

I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward; together we can make a difference.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2nd Chance University
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org

2CU: Julie Introduced

Throughout our 18 books, three peers and two ex-convicts share their stories about their arrest, prison, release, and reintegration. Participants get to know each peer and convict, learning choice and consequence affect more than the singular.

2nd Chance University partners with organizations/institutions dedicated to those who have stumbled within the justice system. Our material and workshops take advantage of real people, real life, and real issues. Time to meet Julie…

Julie:

Name’s Julie. I’m 19 years old, and a single mother, but the state has my baby. Well, my grandmother does, but she’s technically in foster care. I only get to see her sometimes. I haven’t been fully employed since high school, and even then I only worked part time jobs at places like Taco Bell and Target. But I did work at a neighborhood day care for a while and loved it. 

It’s really hard to find a job when everyone says you don’t have enough experience or that I have a kid. I may not have a high school diploma, but I did get my GED. My kid deserves a better life than what I’ve had. Don’t know if I will ever be able to get it together for her—guess things don’t really change.

Insight: Do you agree with Julie when she said “things don’t really change?” Explain why?


I welcome your stories to be added into our series. If you chose to share or support, email me directly. For those wishing to introduce 2CU and our programs into an organization, institution, or facility, please step forward.

Danny Huffman
407-878-0474
2ndChanceUniversity.org
dhuffman@2ndChanceUniversity.org