Luis G., also known as Suave, was only 17 when he was charged with first degree murder. He was sentenced to life without parole and has been incarcerated for 27 years. In prison he was reckless, angry and frequently cited as a problem by authorities–a charge that landed him in solitary confinement and ultimately forced him to transfer prisons. All of that changed when he met Maria Hinojosa, who unknowingly inspired him to get a proper education, start reading, and focus his life on helping others.
The U.S. has only 5% of the world’s population but 25% of the world’s incarcerated. Of those who are incarcerated, between 60,000 and 70,000 are juveniles. Suave, as part of a small group of dedicated men all serving life sentences in Graterford state prison in Pennsylvania, is now committed to fighting those numbers. He and his friends have set up initiatives like a fully inmate-funded college scholarship called Education Over Incarceration and a fatherhood workshop called FACT (Fathers and Children Together) that aims to reconnect incarcerated fathers with their children.
Maria Hinojosa and producer Michael Simon Johnson visited Suave at Graterford to find out how he turned his life around, and how he and his fellow lifers have found meaning in the work they do every day.
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
6 thoughts on “Education Over Incarceration”
It moved me to tears when I heard about the inmate scholarship. What a great thing to do!
this really makes me happy cause I try to incourage people I know to get involved in education that go to prison. One of the guys I was writing to I lost his information cause he was transported from Susanville, ca to Oklahoma and can not locate him now. boohoo. but I will be sure that I continue to try and support others to hear about this program because I do believe in second chances.