Free Minds has served over 500 youth incarcerated as adults in the DC Jail. These young men often return to the community eager for a fresh start, but are held back by the lack of a positive support system. Having spent their adolescence behind bars, their experience as returning citizens is marked by an absence of opportunity. Youth coming home need to practice social skills, create bonds with others, and learn the tools to make positive choices, but these options are rarely offered.
Our Job Readiness Apprenticeships provide these youths with the opportunity to give back to the community while they practice job skills such as computer literacy, reading and writing skills, public speaking, and essential workplace behavior. The apprentices also learn how to apply for jobs with workshops on resumes, cover letters, and job interviews. We help members achieve their educational goals as well, whether that is a GED, college education, or vocational training.
We will nurture and sustain the trusting relationships developed in book club at the DC Jail to instill in youth the confidence needed to pursue employment and education, resulting in lower recidivism rates, stronger families, and safer communities.