Frederick A. Douglass Branch Library
3353 W. 13th St., Chicago (map)
The expression “sent up the river” was coined by individuals who were sent up the Hudson River to do their time at the infamous Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. FIRST DEGREE finds hope in this seemingly hopeless place by exploring an unusual prison education program that appears to keep Sing Sing inmates from being sent back up the river after their release. Nationwide, over half of released inmates return to prison within five years, but for the past 14 years, less than 1% of the inmates who earned their college degrees at Sing Sing returned to prison.
The screening of the half-hour documentary will be followed by a panel discussion, featuring:
- Eddie Bocanegra, executive director of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative and a pioneer of many community-based programs including LuchARTE, Grupo Consuelo and Urban Warriors
- DeWitt Scott, administrator at Moraine Valley Community College, instructor at St. Leonard’s Adult High School and volunteer instructor at Cook County Jail (also a volunteer with Chicago Books to Women in Prison)
- Augie Torres, graduate of the Education Justice Project at Danville Correctional Center
Free of charge and open to the public—all ages welcome
Light refreshments served
Driving? You’ll find street parking near the library.
CTA? Take the #12 Roosevelt bus to Homan Ave. and walk two blocks south. Or take the Blue Line to the Kedzie-Homan station and walk eight blocks south, or take the #52 Kedzie/California bus to W. 13th St., then walk about five minutes