From prisoner to editor: how gaining skills in prison can help post-release

July 2017

For 18 years, Troy Williams was locked up in San Quentin State Prison, doing time for attempted robbery. Now, he's the new editor of a newspaper that seeks to tell the stories of San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood -- along with the stories of incarcerated people across the country. More than 3,000 incarcerated people subscribe to the newspaper.

Williams worked on other media projects while in prison, and his journey of rising from prisoner to editor is an example of the ways that building up skills while incarcerated can help prisoners after they're released.

"The vast majority of people get out of prison and the more that they can be connected to their communities, the better they’ll do," Keramet Reiter, an assistant professor of criminology, law and society told PBS Newshour. "Giving them the ability to tell their stories, it’s likely to be very productive in terms of long-term reentry."

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