Behind the Walls Initiative

prison walls

Behind the Wall Initiative

Submitted by Kwame Teague

Founders:   Kwame Teague    Ras Jacob Snipes   Shawn Corpening-Bey

Legal Advisor:  Charles Turner      Outside Community Advisors:     

Racquel Williams – Can I live     Anthony James – Men of Visions

Mission Statement

We are tired of being a part of society’s problem, but are not yet at the point of true rehabilitation.  We believe that, in order to solve a problem all responsible parties must be willing to compromise for the purpose of overcoming the divisive consequences of existing differences.  That means that society must open up to us, and we to them, in a nationwide dialogue concerning crime prevention, victim redemption therapy and criminal rehabilitation.

The staggering statistics manifesting the level of incarceration in the U.S. cannot be addressed by any one agency, department, demographic constituency or any other entity by itself.  It is time that the subjects themselves – us behind the wall – are more proactive in supplying viable ideas to generate effective solutions, and implementing these ideas.  It is also time for society to seriously devolve its approach from exclusion to inclusion if we are to truly make progress.  To not include the very people who are part of the problem in the achievement of a solution and vice-versa is counterproductive.

We believe the problems facing our communities can be solved through a concerted effort between strong brothers and sisters within prisons working hand in hand with outside organizations throughout the nation.  Our mission is to address the problems facing society, come up with solutions and assist in the implementation of the solutions from behind the wall.

Our Goals

To establish a network of faith groups working together in prisons throughout the U.S., uniting incarcerated women and men, harnessing their resources and ideas to provide viable solutions to society’s problems;

To establish a network between prisoners and people residing in the communities surrounding the institution, whereby male and female inmates can interact with society and deactivate common stereotypes of prisoners that serve as detrimental impediments to our rehabilitation;

To provide resources and/or participate – socially or academically – in any child and/or adolescent education and/or development projects, programs or initiatives;

To work collaboratively with businesses and organizations in order to assist incarcerated individuals to achieve a most productive transition back into society;

To be revered as a significant voice in all matters pertaining to crime, punishment, prison activism, reformist policies and/or preventive measures;

All of the above leads to our Main Goal, which is: Taking our respective faiths and the initiative Behind the Wall to better our members so that they can return to the Free World rehabilitated and in mint condition, prepared for the continual actualization of good will and positive contributions outside the walls.

Our Plan

Resources for Child/Adolescent Education and Development

  1. We intend to raise funds through the prison canteen system, collaborating with Racquel Williams of the non-profit organization, Can I Live in order to distribute these funds in a manner designed to assist children consistent with our mission as agreed upon by Behind the Wall and Can I live.  The procedure to achieve this accumulation of funds will entail debiting inmate personal accounts.
  2. The Phase Program is another fundraising effort designed to generate funds to aid needy children.  This program consists of two phases: Next Phase, for raising sufficient funds Statewide to send at least one child of a crime victim to college annually, and Ultimate Phase, raising sufficient funds nationwide to send as least five children of crime victims to college, supported by outside organizations and businesses that match our contribution dollar for dollar.
  3. Using our various talents such as Rap, Spoken Word poetry, writing, etc., to reach out to at-risk youth.  We believe that the delivery methodology is critical to whether or not children/adolescents respond and adhere to a positive message.

A voice that matters – for too long, our society has ostracized the prison population through the judgment of us being monsters, lost causes and nobodies.  This has engendered an environment where only one side of a two-sided story is being told.  Behind the Wall’s initiation and pursuance of the variety of ideas we have will be the evidence to the contrary, counteracting the concept that change in the incarcerated is impossible.  This will bring awareness to the general public that a significant proportion of the incarcerated really want to change, but they need the acceptance from the public to facilitate the transition effectively.  This will generate a challenge for the public to resolve and for us, the incarcerated to live up to.

Collective Collaboration/Networking

  1. Outside businesses, faith groups, non-profit organizations all need to collaborate, to work collectively in conjunction with us.  The promotion, execution and implementation of our grand strategy depend upon cooperative assistance from the outside.  Inside, the prison administration has to join us, as well as State and Local governments.  Equal and active participation from these various entities will constitute a flow of traffic intersecting around one destination.  In turn, this results in our problems being outflanked until the solution stands as the reward for our victorious efforts.
  2. Networking:  This goes with collaborating.  The dialogue concerning our stratagem to defeat problems has to be given credence by the public.  Through networking, we will establish a well-balanced campaign; the combined effort of the public’s action and our reaction generates energy conducive to finding remedies.

Concluding Statement

We have not tried hard enough from the inside to fix what is going on outside.  On the outside, we have not been effective enough to fix the problem of us going on inside.  We come to prison and often lie down and wallow in self-pity and defeatism.  We often come out the same as or worse than when we entered, and end up inflicting the same crimes on society.  It is a tired repetition of unfortunate tragedy and mishandled rehabilitation.  Our objective is to reverse the status quo.  Instead of the mischievous coming out criminalized, we aim at turning raw material into direct current, faith into works and the convict/ex-convict into women/men of high moral character.

Through helping those outside, we can help ourselves inside.  We believe that if we start thinking and acting positively now, that it will inevitably carry over into the Free World.  As more men/women influenced by the Behind the Wall Initiative are released, the effect on the outside society is that much stronger.  We have prisons throughout this nation; there will be plenty of work for those wishing to spread this model across the geography of the U.S.

Narcotics Anonymous is one of the most effective drug rehabilitation programs because the systematic approach of one wretched soul helping the current wretched soul is comprehensible and exceptionally therapeutic.  We envision the same approach being significant in producing favorable results through our strategies.  Society represents the clean addict and we represent the active addict.  If society would be more compassionate and actualized this relationship, it would produce more change for the better.  Making us better is clearly in the best interest of this nation.

We are all “one nation under God,” as the pledge of allegiance to our flag states.  We are the responsibility of the Free World and the Free World is our responsibility.  Help us to help you to make this nation a better place.  ∞

    No more excuses!  The time is now.  If you are interested in being a part of this Initiative, please contact:

Behind the Wall

915 Prince Avenue

Goldsboro, NC 27530


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