The Prison Post #37 features my great friend, Cornelius Edwards. He was incarcerated for 26 years (1987-2012). He was one of the founders of what many people know today as "rehabilitative programming." It was an honor to have Cornelius on our podcast and we'll be recording part two this week. He was a visionary and trailblazer for those sentenced to life and because of him and others that followed his lead, today thousands and thousands of us sentenced to life are now free. He created a premiere literacy program in the late 90's, the first lifer support group in the early 2000's and the first parole readiness group for those with life sentences in 2012. His "Avatar" program included Board of Prison Hearings (BPH) Preparation, Post Board Denial Management, Post Incarceration Syndrome, Relapse Prevention Planning, Alternatives to Family Violence and they introduced the Board Portfolio to take to the BPH. He created this at a time when the window of opportunity for parole for those sentenced to life were barely opening up. He was found suitable 6 times, but Governor Gray Davis took three of those parole dates and Governor Schwarzenegger took two of those dates. He was finally set free after his 6th suitability.
Today Cornelius is passionate about providing workplace safety instruction and certifications to men and women currently employed; and pre-certifications to single parents, students, veterans, and formerly incarcerated people seeking entry level positions in the labor and food industries; in effect providing employers with knowledgeable candidates for future employment opportunities. Throughout his previous years of experience as a trainer/speaker and program developer he learned that safety and employment are cornerstones for building responsible people, safe workplaces, better communities, and productive lifestyles. He's passionate about empowering those who need a hand up and he is committed to leaving this earth better than he found it.
We welcomed Cornelius on The Prison Post Podcast because he is the epitome of someone who has reentered society as a responsible and thriving citizen. He is excelling today with two careers, a happy marriage, and he's done his fair share of travel all over the world.
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