I know there are a lot of individuals that might not be fortunate enough to have anyone that’s on the outside to send them any literature to read. It might keep them going. It freed my mind and opened my thoughts.
John Bunn- Founder, CEO, Exonerated Role Model
Reading is a creative outlet that can take us outside of the negative environments and relationships we sometimes found ourself in. In using our literacy, we create safe positive spaces for ourselves where reflection, creativity, and happiness are easier to grasp. With all the untapped potential alive in our public school system it is up to individuals to take their destiny into their own hands, and represent their communities positively.
Prisons must be used as a tool for rehabilitation, education, and growth in order to make individuals and society better as a whole. What we have now is an over-the-top punitive punishments that has only proven to disproportionately burden only benefit private interests through the prison industrial complex.
Combatting our Prison Crisis
Teaching our children to protect themselves against traps and pitfalls that contribute to mass incarcerating while forging thoughtful pragmatic members of society through virtues of education, mutual respect, and prudence.
Founded in 2017, A Voice 4 the Unheard began as a book drive aimed at refurbishing the libraries at Rikers Island and providing under-resourced communities with educational literature.
Once the criminal justice system targets and makes contact with our youth, it becomes difficult to escape. We share stories like John's to show people what we need to do as individuals to protect ourselves and communities to protect one another.
WHAT WE PLAN ON ACHIEVING
- Give prisoners easy access to a variety of book genres and reading levels.
- Get information and literature to at-risk youth so they can empower themselves and avoid getting caught-up in a toxic criminal justice system.
- Refurbish prison libraries with new equipment, organization systems and of course, literature.
- Continue the dialogue on prison reformation that supports rehabilitation as opposed to punishment and condemnation.
- Provide literature that will interest and inspire prisoners and educate our under-resourced communities.
- Re-define prison culture and create safe areas where prisoners can be vulnerable, honest and all together more focused on positivity.
- Connect prisoners to aspects of themselves and society that have been neglected or completely undiscovered.
- Continue to recognize and elevate groups or individuals who feel unheard and underrepresented by society.
Prisons must be used as a tool for rehabilitation, education, and growth in order to make individuals and society better as a whole. What we have now is an over-the-top punitive punishments that has proven to disproportionately burden vulnerable people while benefitting private interests know was the prison industrial complex.