A Michigan organization is working to help former prisoners succeed when they are released, flintside.com reports.
“Prejudice against formerly incarcerated people makes it nearly impossible for them to get a job or rent an apartment,” said Leon El-Alamin, founder and executive director of MADE Institute.
“A lot of what people think they know about the criminal justice system is outdated or just misguided, and that harms formerly incarcerated people who are trying so hard to turn their lives around,” El-Alamin said at the annual meeting of Safe & Just Michigan, a statewide organization that promotes criminal sentencing reform.
The October event in Lansing, Michigan, drew 200 people with its theme, “Moving hearts and minds toward justice.”
MADE Institute helps train the formerly incarcerated for employment and to find housing.
El-Alamin has served time in prison. He told the group: “There’s dignity in being able to work and put food on the table.”
The event also featured Ellen Buchman, vice president of The Opportunity Agenda in New York. Safe & Just Michigan was founded in 2000 as Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending. In 2018 the name changed to Safe & Just Michigan.