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News from March 2015

August 9, 2015 7:24 pm

March 9, 2015


Creative Corrections Education Foundation has a new Board of Directors Member.  Patricia L. Caruso, Director Michigan Department of Corrections (Retired) and former Warden, has joined the CCEF mission of breaking the cycle of children following in their parents footsteps of going to prison.  Patricia has a vast amount of executive managerial experience in the field of corrections and will definitely be able to help the foundation achieve the goal of reducing second generation crime by giving the children of the incarcerated educational opportunities of going to college versus jail.

March 09, 2015

Foundation Raises Scholarship Money for Children of Inmates

By RICHARD F. BELISLE richardb@herald-mail.com herald-mail.com

Posted on Feb 25, 2015

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — about 15 clients at the Jefferson County Day Reporting Center heard a retired federal prison warden tell them Wednesday how his nonprofit foundation raises money for scholarships for children of incarcerated parents.  Percy Pitzer, who founded the Creative Corrections Education Foundation in 2012, said it raised more than $74,000 for $1,000 scholarships to 74 high school students in 28 states who might not otherwise have a chance to go to college.  The goal is to increase the annual scholarships to $5,000 a year for four years of undergraduate study, he said.  The foundation’s success depends mostly on donations from prison inmates, even those serving life sentences.  “I tell them even if their life is over, they can still help a kid,” he said.  “I ask inmates to give up a candy bar or soda once a month and donate a dollar,” Pitzer told the clients assembled for their weekly peer recovery session at the center in Ranson, where clients are referred as an alternative to incarceration. 

Inmate donations range from 50 cents to $200, he said. 

“Half of the incarcerated juveniles have a parent or family member in jail, and a father in jail can’t work to earn money for his child’s education,” Pitzer said.  He said he created the foundation so the children of inmates “don’t end up like them.” 

Also addressing the clients Wednesday was Anthony Haynes, retired career prison warden and the foundation’s executive director.  In a recent article in American Bar Associations Journal, Pitzer said the get-tough-on-crime initiative of the 1980s and the war on drugs led to mandatory minimum jail sentences that “resulted in prison populations larger than anyone could have anticipated. We lock up more individuals than we release.”  Ronda Eddy, director of the Day Reporting Center, said the facility serves Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties, the three counties that make up the state’s 23rd Judicial Circuit.  The Jefferson County Commissioners assumed financial responsibility for a center in July 2013 after officials in Berkeley County stopped funding one there.

Eddy said her center averages about 70 clients, ages 18 to 60, at any one time. Most of their problems are rooted in substance abuse, including heroin. About 70 percent are men, she said.

The center opened in August. It has four full-time employees including Eddy, two case managers and a substance-abuse coordinator.  Clients deemed eligible for the center’s programs instead of incarceration are referred by judges and magistrates, as well as probation and parole officers.  Clients enter the center for a year or more beginning with an intensive 12-week assessment to measure the level of treatment needed and their risk of recidivism, Eddy said.  “They have to report in three days a week for three hours. Some clients have very high needs and are carefully monitored,” she said. “Treatment includes monitored drug testing and counseling.”

March 26, 2015

Tony began discussions with Virginia Department of Corrections staff Scott Richeson, Director Reentry Programs.  Virginia DOC is thinking about partnering with CCEF and Tony is tentatively scheduled to provide a presentation in April 2015, to Virginia DOC Executive Staff, Wardens and Parole Chiefs.