"Inmates With Talent" Makes a Difference in Prisoner Re-Entry

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Can convicts really be rehabilitated? Can a project to find and develop talent in prison make a major difference in the lives of those looking for a second chance, and also lead to a safer America? The Redemption Project: Inmates With Talent, continues to make a difference even after its filming and recent completion.

“I’m completing my master’s degree in February. I used to know more about living in prison than I did about living on the streets. Understanding people like Johnny Collins, who showed through forgiveness and encouragement that reintegration is possible.."

Can convicts really be rehabilitated? Can a project to find and develop talent in prison make a major difference in the lives of those looking for a second chance, and also lead to a safer America?

In the quotations below, former inmates share the positive impact that the unscripted, prison talent contest documentary, The Redemption Project: Inmates With Talent, continues to have in their lives after its filming and recent completion. Aside from offering inmates a creative, positive alternative to a criminal lifestyle, The Redemption Project helps former inmates stay focused on the goal of earning their way back into society.

In their own words:    “I’ve done some bad things in my life and I deeply regret all of that. I want to make up for it now. The Redemption Project’s re-entry program is for real and it’s helping me do just that. It’s amazing that they’ve been available 24/7 – in my case to help keep focused on school and to provide some encouragement during challenging times.” --Ron Graves.

“My mother and father both have been battling cancer. As a result, I’ve put my life on hold, and unfortunately that has impacted the momentum of my stand-up comedy career. But I have to help my folks overcome these horrific diseases. I thank The Redemption Project for their continued support and guidance to stay on the right path in life, and for the recent big TV audition that they landed me.” -- Aaron Reason.

“Now I’m going to school three days a week and working a full-time job. And I recently got some acting headshots and started performing local gigs. Johnny Collins of The Redemption Project is keeping the dream alive for us on- and off-camera.” -- Jason Green.

“I’m completing my master’s degree in February. I used to know more about living in prison than I did about living on the streets. Understanding people like Johnny Collins, who showed through forgiveness and encouragement that reintegration is possible, was instrumental in my success.” -- Charles Jackson.

Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Bruce Lemmon commented, “I am pleased with the overwhelmingly positive feedback this innovative program has been getting. Not only is it highly entertaining, but it gives the men a goal and keeps them positively engaged upon their release in family, job and school activities. ‘The Redemption Project: Inmates With Talent’ is showing positive trends that it is good for offenders, ex-offenders and for society at large.”

“Since they’ve been out of prison, some of the guys are creating a buzz in the Hollywood community. But more important than their stand-out talents, we’ve been impressed with their determination to do the right thing and to engage in productive activities.” --Michael Tota, Associate Producer, The Redemption Project.

The word is out: re-entry is successful if people with a leg up extend a hand down.

The Redemption Project: Altering the Course of Crime.

“I served time at Putnamville. I found that getting out of prison is a lot harder then anyone could ever know. I know when you guys (“Inmates With Talent”) showed up, it lifted the morale of the whole prison. I haven't actually seen the doc -- just what is posted up on the Internet. I would like to see the recently completed documentary.”

“I was nearly in tears to see this on the Internet. Thank you so much for this, I am going to show it to my husband and my kids so they can see where I work every day, some of the people I work with so they can see that no matter how rough life gets and how far you fall, there are hands like yours out there, giving that little boost that means the difference between coming back or staying out for good. We just had a return, someone that violated parole and returned to serve the rest of his time and it breaks my heart...I hope that your program helps these men find a way out for good. Thank you!!!”

“This is probably the best thing these guys have gotten in years...........a real chance!”

“It’s good to see someone trying to make a difference. I was once a 3 time convicted inmate. However, the last time of incarceration I got the help I needed to better myself and I am now married and own a tattoo parlor. I thank you for doing what you're doing. I think what you're doing is awesome!!!”

“I am very interested in your project. Being a convicted felon, I understand the daily struggles of re-adjusting to life. I have somehow been able to redeem myself by obtaining a graduate degree and I am now employed by the state. Sometimes intervention is necessary to help others gain the willingness to walk through.”

The Redemption Project: Inmates With Talent, starring Johnny Collins, Joel Jerome, Ice T, Steve Wilson, Edwin San Juan and Mike Mitchell, entertains by finding and exhibiting the hidden talent in America’s prisons, and also helps give a second chance to people who made bad choices, but are not all inherently bad people. Even if just a small number of inmates are steered away from a return to criminal activity, the project will have a positive impact on society and reduce the number of victims in our country.

Visit our website at http://www.inmatesgottalent.com/testimonial/
To view and download footage and photos from The Redemption Project: Inmates With Talent, which can be used by media and journalists in developing their news stories, visit: http://www.inmatesgottalent.com/mediakit/

Contact:
Johnny Collins
310.497.9205
johnnycollins2009(at)yahoo(dot)com

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Johnny Collins

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