Juneteenth RI - Transforming Lives 2022 Award
Updated: May 22
James Monteiro is the founder and director of the Reentry Campus Program. He works both within and outside the Adult Correctional Institution of Rhode Island to ensure that adults in transition have a college degree pathway that is integrated into the support systems needed upon release. He has also gained national attention for his work around criminal justice reform from prestigious organizations such as JLUSA, Echoing Green, John Legend's Unlocked Futures, and the Claneil Foundation's Emerging Leader award.
Each year, roughly 2,000 people are released from the RI Department of Corrections (RIDOC). Additionally, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of 2018, Rhode Island has the sixth highest rate of Community Corrections supervision in the nation; 2,453 per 100,000 residents (Probation and Parole in the United States, 2017-2018). In addition, RI has the fourth highest rate of probation supervision in the nation; 2,390 per 100,000 residents. Data maintained by RIDOC indicates that within three years, 50% of those released will return to prison with new charges.
The Reentry Campus Program was founded to help current and formerly incarcerated individuals finish the post secondary education that they started behind prison walls once they are released.
The benefits of increased education among this population and successful reentry are undeniable. To date, since its formation, the Reentry Campus Program has served well over 300 individuals statewide, with over 30 individuals graduating from Colleges, Universities, and Certification Programs across the state.
One of the core concepts of our program is that, "More Education = More Money = More Freedom." That is not so much as in the physical aspect of freedom, but more so in the freedom of "Choices" that having an education brings about. And once we have obtained that freedom, its only right that we would want that for someone else.