An Amazing Reentry Story That You Will Not Want to Miss
Date:  06-18-2014

Written off as a “lifer,” Maryland man creates two businesses and jobs for other formerly incarcerated people
There are over 650,000 individuals released from prison each year. We do not usually hear about most of them. Those who navigate the rough waters of reentry do their best to overcome the many obstacles in their way. Those who succeed quietly go about their lives, grateful for being free and desperate not to make mistakes that will land them back behind bars. Those whose fail with successful reintegration back into the community are the ones that the media spotlights. Headlines scream about, and television newscasts lead off with, dramatic stories of the newly released prisoner who murders, rape or rob. Stories about the thousands who have been released but not arrested don’t sell, so they are ignored.

But sometimes a reentrant does such a stellar job of turning his or her life around that the media sits up and takes notice. Such is the case of Baltimore resident, and convicted murderer, Chris Chase who had big dreams that he started working on in prison even though the chances of him being released were slim. His “life goals” list kept growing, and Chase kept checking them off as he completed them. One judge was impressed and reduced Chase’s life sentence to 24 years.

One of his first stops after release was the University of Baltimore where he enrolled. That did not sit well with some administrators at the halfway house in which Chase resided. The halfway house sent him back to prison for the remaining 13 months of his sentence. But Chase persevered, now owning two businesses that employ those with criminal history. This entrepreneur is being recruited by Harvard and John Hopkins for their MBA programs. Read more about Chase’s setbacks and triumphs in the inspirational Al Jazeera America article here.