October is not usually a time for graduation ceremonies, and a police headquarters might be one of the last places for such an occasion.
Yet, on a balmy fall afternoon in Las Vegas, 52 men and women who recently finished their time in prison were defying more than just the typical graduation schedule. By taking the next step with HOPE for Prisoners, a re-entry program that they hope will enable them to become leaders and improve their lives and help others, they were also defying the odds of what society expects of people returning to their communities after serving their time in prison.
Mark Holden, senior vice president at Koch Industries, delivered the commencement speech. In a new op-ed for the Las Vegas Business Press, Holden and HOPE for Prisoners founder and CEO Jon Ponder explained why it’s critical for businesses and communities to unite around criminal justice reform and to enable success for those who are returning to society after serving their sentences.
“It was humbling and awe-inspiring to look out and see so much potential and to realize that there are networks like this all over the country who are doing their part to enhance public safety and restore second chances. They’re not doing it for the glory — they’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. It makes sense morally, fiscally and constitutionally,” Holden and Ponder wrote.
Read the full piece at the Las Vegas Business Press.