Progress After Prison Resources

A Black boy born today has a 1 in 3 chance they will be imprisoned. While the vast majority of people incarcerated today are men, women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. YWCA Delaware launches #ProgressAfterPrison workshops to further our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

Mass incarceration is a term that is used to describe the United States’ system of courts, police, prisons, jails, and the policies and practices that have 2.3 million people in the U.S. incarcerated, 7 million people under correctional control, and 65 million people with criminal records. It also includes the “collateral consequences” of a criminal record: besides serving jail or prison time, probation or parole, fines and restitution and other costs, there are additionally thousands of laws that further penalize or discriminate against people with criminal records (e.g. in some cases not being able to vote, serve on a jury, get housing, get student loans, certain licenses and jobs, certain benefits, etc, or where individuals are allowed to discriminate against you in jobs, housing, etc.)

When we look at the average state rates of incarceration, we see that Black Americans are incarcerated at an overall rate of 1,408 per 100,000; Latinos are held at an average rate of 378 per 100,000; while whites are incarcerated at a rate of 275 per 100,000. This means that blacks are incarcerated at a rate that is 5.1 times that of whites, and Latinos have a disparity ratio of 1.4:1 compared to whites ( Delaware is fairly consistent with these national numbers.

Many studies have shown that people of different races are equally likely to commit crimes when faced with the same circumstances. How we delegate resources, the legacy of inequality, and who we think of as criminal (legacies of implicit bias) and where we target law enforcement explains how 1 in 15 Black adults is incarcerated today, 1 in 36 Latino adults, and 1 in 107 White non-Latino adults. See Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,, William Julius Wilson’s When Work Disappears: The World of the Urban Poor,

The following links are not exhaustive and are meant to accompany our workshops and seminars in the #ProgressAfterPrison program.
Contact me with questions, comments, or suggestions, Matt Pillischer, Director of Racial & Social Justice at



Prison statistics are found at the following link:

This website provides a report about the number of people incarcerated, the racial breakdown of those incarcerated, along with statistics about the number of people incarcerated for drug and non-violent crimes.

Slavery to Mass Incarceration video by Equal Justice Initiative (EJI):
This video illustrates how, in the United States, slavery has continuously evolved and now shows itself through mass incarceration.

Challenging Incarceration: by Nation Inside Team:
This website has videos of eleven people who are formerly incarcerated telling their story, each approximately 3 minutes long. It covers topics such as health care, mindsets, and resistance.

Eddie Rosario’s Story (with the Challenging Incarceration group of stories above)
This is Eddie Rosario’s story, one of the eleven stories from the above link. In his video he talks about fighting the mindset of mass incarceration.

Bryan Stevenson TED talk: 
Bryan Stevenson, a human rights lawyer, discusses the hard truths about America’s justice system and the massive imbalance across racial lines.

Michelle Alexander TED talk:
She discusses how mass incarceration paints a racial caste system in the United States. The conditions that felons face following their release is hauntingly similar to the conditions that African Americans faced during the Jim Crow Era. Thus said, these institutionalized barriers contribute to high recidivism rates and entrenches many Black Americans in a cycle of poverty.

Black Lives Matter Music Video:
Shows pictures and videos from the Black Lives Matter protests.


ACLU Prisoner’s rights advocacy:
Gives resources to information about prisoner’s rights including mental health, solitary confinement, and civil liberties in prison.

Prisoner Reentry Network:
Give information about contacting officials and legislators about bills and concerns

Pen Pals:
This is a list of organizations that website that allow you to be pen pals with someone in prison

This website is for finding pen pals for prisoners who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community

This website is an organization based in the United Kingdom and they write to US prisoners on death row


The APEX program is dedicated to providing opportunities to individuals with criminal histories who wish to obtain gainful employment. The program aims to accomplish this by helping clients through the pardons and expungement process, providing employer education, and advancing legislative reform.

In Delaware, the Office of Defense Services will assist with expungements of juvenile records and let’s you know if you are eligible for expungement.

A collection of resources for returning citizens:
Gives resources about the national hiring network, roadblocks to reentry, job searching, and books, videos, and legal resources for returning citizens.

This is a website where former inmates give advice to those just getting out of prison

The Out and Employed blog provides news, career advice and job resources for ex-offenders.

Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program:
PEP is not just a program. We are a revolution, achieving amazing results with profound impacts. At PEP, our beliefs drive us to offer the opportunity for a “fresh start” to reformed inmates who thrive on challenge and accountability. PEP’s ten driving values can be found in your packet.

This website gives resources to companies that hire returning citizens

This website gives information about activist projects around prisoner reform

Equal Voice:
Video (10 minutes) about how to empower returning citizens and their families

Family of the incarcerated:
Article about how prisoner’s family is also affected by their time in prison

This blog is intended for those people who are suffering from the trauma and emotional pain of having a member of their family who is behaving or has behaved in a dysfunctional manner, whether they are currently incarcerated, have never been incarcerated, or whether they are on the outside after incarceration.

The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated is the oldest and largest organization in the U.S. focused on children and families of the incarcerated and programs that serve them.

A documentary created by the youth of incarcerated individuals

Entrepreneur and work:
YWCA Delaware’s Wo(men) Achieving New Directions (WAND) program offers work readiness and 21st century job search skills to those with barriers to employment and self-employment strategies to emerging business owners who need the tools to position their business for success. WAND helps program participants increase their household income, support their family, pursue their dreams and build a legacy for future generations. Scholarships are available.

5 Basic Elements of Entrepreneurship and Startup Plans, courtesy of Tracey Syphax:
• Innovation
Students learn to introduce their ideas into the marketplace.
(Learn more –

• Marketing
Students learn to market their companies and their products and services.
(Learn more –

• Selling
Students learn to leverage technology to successfully make sales.
(Learn more –

• Financials
Students learn how to manage the financials of their startup and operations.
(Learn more –

• Management
Students learn how to manage their companies.
(Learn more –

• Startup Plan (See Course Lesson 20 – Video – Instructor Insights)
Students learn to develop a startup plan for their company.
(Learn more –

To learn more about the Reentry Ventures program, visit the link below.

Reentry Ventures student testimonials:

Lorenzo Stewart at Reentry Ventures, DC: