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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Going Up The Country, By Jeff Grant

Progressive Prison Project
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
Greenwich, Connecticut
 
 
Going Up The Country
 
By Jeff Grant 


Sat., Oct. 26th, Weston, CT:  Up again way too early this morning - I can't believe it's already been a month since The Nantucket Project and I haven't posted a word of my own on this blog... 
 
Maybe it's blog burn-out?  It was certainly a labor of love banging out daily blog posts from Nantucket (thank you to all our friends who texted & emailed us back your thoughts & comments, very much appreciated as always!).  Or, maybe, it's just that Lynn and I just haven't slowed down a bit.  We've been busy (probably too busy). 

We've moved. Yep, after almost thirty years in Greenwich/Rye - the last nine years together - Lynn & I have pulled up stakes and we've gone up the country.  Weston, Connecticut is not so far from Greenwich, but many of our dearest friends live there so of course we are sad to leave you.  But we have still have ministries in Greenwich so we will see you.  As you know, we have ministries in Bridgeport - and we travel pretty much all over the state on any given day - so Weston is a much more central location  (and we've already discovered local budget eating like Orem's Diner and take home from Peter's - more suggestions are welcomed).  Please call & visit soon.  
 
Last Weds. evening we held the first "The Art of Surviving Prison" Workshop at The First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan - Lynn, Lynn's mom Mimi (visiting from Mesa, AZ), and our friends Maria & Dan were there in support.  It was part of a Weds. evening Religion & Race Adult Education series run by the church - there was a really terrific turnout of people from church and community who were very interested in prison issues and social justice.  Thanks to Rev. Paul Gilmore for the invitation and hospitality. 
 
We've been to all sorts of interesting places - the Family ReEntry Benefit was a smash!  Our thanks to Tony Kiniry for inviting us to the dedication of Pivot Ministries' new house on the East Side of Bridgeport (we caught up with Mayor Bill Finch there too!)  Pivot & the Prison Ministries of the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport have collaborated on a couple of projects recently.  We together brought a Faith-based ATR-III site to Bridgeport (it's now open at Pivot) and we started a new Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every Wednesday at noon at the church, 126 Washington Ave. All good stuff.
 
Our thanks to Tina Daniels for the invite to the Women's Prison Assn. Dinner at the Central Park Boathouse.  It was inspiring to hear the stories of women ex-offenders who have been helped by this important organization.  And we finally got to meet Piper Kerman too, a trailblazer in public awareness of our mission!  Piper alert number two: Community Partners in Action will be hosting Piper as the speaker on December 12th at Hartford Stage - I'm looking forward to being with her again and hearing her important message. 
 
The morning after Piper, on Dec. 13th at 6:30 am, we will back in Greenwich at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club for the Greenwich Leadership Forum.  David Miller, the Director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative hosts GLF - he will be interviewing me in front of this gathering of good people who have committed to ethical business practices.  David is a beautiful, righteous man and reverend - for example, he took the train up from Princeton at his own expense to give the Homily at our dear friend Bob Lister's funeral.  I'd better be on my toes that early in the morning - David asks probing and evocative questions. 
 
Last, but certainly not least, after moving, we are getting to spend some quality time with friends and family.  This weekend we are going up to Saratoga to be with family; next weekend I will be officiating at the wedding of dear college friends' children (yep, we're that old) and then a visit to Florida to be with more family.  We feel blessed to be living a life of service and abundance. 
 
May God bless you and keep you always. 
 
___________________

Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
Director, Progressive Prison Project/
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Assoc. Minister/
Director of Prison Ministries
First Baptist Church of Bridgeport
126 Washington Avenue, 1st Fl.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA  06604
 
(0) +1203.769.1096
(m) +1203.339.5887
jgrant@progressiveprisonproject.org
jg3074@columbia.edu

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WSJ: How Prosecutors Rig Trials by Freezing Assets, By Harvey Silverglate


.

Progressive Prison Project

Innocent Spouse & Children Project

Greenwich, Connecticut


This article is so important to the families 
of people accused of white collar 
and other nonviolent crimes that I offer 
it here for your consideration - Jeff


WALL STREET JOURNAL OPINION  
October 6, 2013, 7:13 p.m. ET 

How Prosecutors Rig Trials by Freezing Assets 

Is it fair to seize all a defendant owns without showing its criminal source? The Supreme Court will rule.

by, Harvey Silverglate

On Oct. 16, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a claim brought by husband and wife Brian and Kerri Kaley. The Kaleys are asking the high court to answer a serious and hotly contested question in the federal criminal justice system: Does the Constitution allow federal prosecutors to seize or freeze a defendant's assets before the prosecution has shown at a pretrial hearing that those assets were illegally obtained? 

Such asset freezes often prevent a defendant from hiring the trial counsel of his choice to mount a vigorous defense, thus increasing the likelihood of the government extracting a guilty plea or verdict. Because asset forfeiture almost automatically follows conviction, a pretrial freeze ultimately enables the Justice Department to grab the frozen assets for use by executive-branch law enforcement agencies. It is a neat, vicious circle. 

What crimes are the Kaleys charged with? Kerri Kaley was a sales representative for a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson . Beginning in 2005, the feds in Florida investigated her, her husband Brian, and other sales reps for reselling medical devices given to them by hospitals. The hospitals had previously bought and stocked the devices but no longer needed or wanted the overstock since the company was offering new products. Knowing that the J&J subsidiary had already been paid for the now-obsolete products and was focused instead on selling new models, the sales reps resold the old devices and kept the proceeds. 

The feds had various theories for why this "gray market" activity was a crime, even though prosecutors could not agree on who owned the overstocked devices and, by extension, who were the supposed victims of the Kaleys' alleged thefts. The J&J subsidiary never claimed to be a victim. 

The Kaleys were confident that they would prevail at trial if they could retain their preferred lawyers. A third defendant did go to trial with her counsel of choice and was acquitted. But the Justice Department made it impossible for the Kaleys to pay their chosen lawyers for trial. 
 
The government insisted that as long as the Kaleys' assets—including bank accounts and their home— could be traced to the sale of the medical devices, all of those assets could be frozen. The Kaleys were not allowed to go a step further and show that their activities were in no way criminal, since this would be determined by a trial. But the Kaleys insisted that if the government wanted to freeze their funds, the court had to hold a pretrial hearing on the question of the legality of how the funds were earned. 

The Kaleys complained that the asset freeze effectively deprived them of their Sixth Amendment right to the counsel of their choice—the couple couldn't afford to hire the defense that they wanted. Prosecutors and the trial judge responded that the Kaleys could proceed with a public defender. This wouldn't have been an encouraging prospect for them, for while public counsel is often quite skilled, such legal aid wouldn't meet the requirements the Kaleys believed they needed for this complex defense. Choice of counsel in a free society, one would think, lies with the defendant, not with the prosecutor or the judge. (The Kaleys' chosen trial lawyers have agreed to stick with the case during the pretrial tussling over the asset-freeze question, but trying the case before a jury would be much more expensive and would require the frozen funds.) 

Federal asset-forfeiture statutes like the one the Kaleys are fighting are actually a relatively recent invention. Before 1970, when Congress adopted the first provisions seeking to strip organized-crime figures of ill-gotten racketeering gains, there were no such laws (with the exception of the Civil War-era Confiscation Acts providing for the forfeiture of property of Confederate soldiers). 

Since 1970, however, such federal statutes have expanded to cover a breathtaking number of crimes, from the sale of fraudulent passports and contraband cigarettes right up to murder and drug trafficking. An authoritative treatise, the 4th edition of the encyclopedia "Federal Practice & Procedure," asserts that federal forfeiture is now available "for almost every crime." In January, the New York Times quoted Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as saying that asset forfeiture is "an important part of the culture" and "an example of the government being efficient and bringing home the bacon." In 2012 alone, federal prosecutors seized more than $4 billion in assets. The Justice Department is allowed by law to put that bacon to use however prosecutors wish—to pay informants, provide snazzy cars to cooperating witnesses, whatever. 

The Kaleys are hardly alone. The recently completed prosecution of Conrad Black indicates starkly how such seizures can torpedo a defendant's chance of getting a fair trial. In his 2007 high-profile case, Mr. Black, a former newspaper publisher indicted for alleged fraud and related crimes in the sale of Hollinger International, endured a federal freeze of his major unencumbered asset, the cash proceeds from the sale of his New York City apartment. That freeze prevented him from being able to retain the legal counsel upon whom he had relied before the asset freeze. 

Mr. Black ultimately was convicted on two counts, winning on all the others in a shifting array of counts that numbered more than a dozen. Last year, having served his 42-month prison sentence, he filed a petition in federal court seeking to vacate his convictions on the ground that the government's asset- forfeiture tactics had deprived him of his counsel of choice. That effort foundered when the judge concluded that Mr. Black's trial counsel—not his counsel of choice, it must be noted, but rather the counsel he could afford after the asset freeze—had failed to properly raise and hence preserve the issue for later appellate review. 
 
The Supreme Court has now threatened to upset the game that is so lucrative for the government and disabling for defendants. On March 18, the court agreed to consider the Kaleys' claim that the asset freeze without a hearing on the merits of the underlying criminal charge violated their constitutional rights. At oral argument in mid-October, the broader question will be whether, after four decades of federal asset seizures, the high court will put a freeze on the Justice Department. 

Mr. Silverglate, a Boston criminal defense and civil liberties lawyer, is the author, most recently, of "Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent" (Encounter Books, updated second edition 2011). Harvey sent us a copy of his book to review - Spellbinding!

A version of this article appeared October 6, 2013, on page A17 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: How Prosecutors Rig Trials by Freezing Assets. 

Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
_______________________


Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
Director, Progressive Prison Project/
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Assoc. Minister/
Director of Prison Ministries
First Baptist Church of Bridgeport
126 Washington Avenue, 1st Fl.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA  06604
 
(0) +1203.769.1096
(m) +1203.339.5887
jgrant@progressiveprisonproject.org
jg3074@columbia.edu

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Suburbia," An Excerpt from, "Last Stop Babylon: The Art of Surviving Prison," by Jeff Grant


Suburbia, An Excerpt from

The Art of Surviving Prison

Jeff Grant  

 

Below is an unedited excerpt from my upcoming book

"The Art of Surviving Prison."

Your thoughts and comments are welcome and encouraged. 

I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful. - Jeff

 

Chapter Two


“Suburbia”




I pulled on my sweatshirt and realized just how cold it was.  It was freezing down this end of the hall.  Suburbia they called it.  It was the most sought after section of the unit.  Far from prying eyes.  Far from the glaring lights and acrid smells of the bathroom.  Far from the incessant screaming in the television room that could last until midnight.  But also far from the furnace that cranked out insufficient heat to make it down to this distant end of the unit on very cold Pennsylvania mornings.



Out the windows from my upper bunk I could see farmhouses in the distance, windows aglow with the soft light from their fireplaces.  The smoke rose from their chimneys in streams of white until it spread out into a haze mixing with the otherwise flawless starry sky.  The lights turned on one at a time with people that I imagined were awakening for all kinds of reasons.  It was Sunday, and they would be having big family breakfasts.  In a couple of hours they would be going off to church.  This was Amish and Mennonite country, so maybe they would be driving horse drawn carriages to church.  Route 15, the other roads and the churches were not visible to us - they were purposefully hidden around bends in hills and mountains apart from our eyes.  Or, more likely, we were purposefully hidden away from theirs.  The mountains stretched as far as my eyes could see.  In some ways, it was the loveliest spot I’d ever seen. Two mountain ranges on either side of the valley made a majestic backdrop every time a storm rolled in, or as jets flew overhead.  I could time the jets as they flew westward in the mornings, full of businessmen and their promise of glory for the day.  And as they flew home again in the evening, on wings of victory or perhaps empty disappointment.  I dreamt about flying home too.  Or about life as it was before.



I knew I had very little time to spare - maybe an hour to write my letters before the others woke up and needed to share my space by the window at the end of the hall.  First it was the yoga and stretching guys who went through their exercises quietly.  They laid down towels and engaged in an incredibly disciplined daily routine.  It was all about routine there as I’d learned and mine was no exception.  Everyday was like every other day – it was what kept us sane.  Kept me sane.  They say that the hardest parts of a prison bid are the beginning and the end, and this was certainly true for me.  The middle was just a string of Groundhog Days - each day pretty much like the next.  So much so that anything that interfered was an unwelcome distraction.  



After the exercise guys came the Muslims who needed room at the end of the hall to lay down their prayer mats.  The window was on the eastern wall.  Their purpose trumped mine so each morning I silently retreated and gave them their space.  They prayed five times a day, the first time at the end of the hall at about 5:30 in the morning.  Their seven or eight colorful mats tucked close together were a stark contrast to the dull, drab and dark hall.  Shoulder to shoulder they bowed and prayed in unison.  In five minutes’ time they were finished and the hall was mine again. 



Everything was on prison time - so the exercise guys, the Muslims and I had to adjust our schedules to fit the institution clock.  When the doors opened at 6 a.m. for breakfast, we all had to be ready.  The doors waited for nobody.  The prison was on controlled movements, which meant that the doors of the unit opened at the bottom of the hour for ten minutes, except for mealtimes when the doors stayed open until the meal was over.  There were paths to cross the compound to get to the other buildings, such as the library, recreation, dining hall and commissary.  We had ten minutes to get to the other side.  If we were late, or got caught in the compound when the doors closed, we were likely brought to the Head Lieutenant’s office.  From there, it was his decision whether or not we would be thrown into the SHU - the Segregated Housing Unit. Solitary Confinement.

____________________________



I spent some time in the SHU when I first arrived at Allenwood.   I reported on Easter Sunday, 2006 - none were too pleased to process an intake on Easter Sunday.  But my sentencing judge had ordered me to self-surrender at the prison on that day.  My friends Tom and Alexis had driven me out to Central Pennsylvania from Connecticut.  It was a nice relaxed car ride - I spoke to my kids and some friends on the way.  We had some laughs and a cry or two.  We pulled over in a cornfield across the street from the prison complex to share a prayer together.  I certainly wasn’t a religious person at the time, but my four years in Alcoholics Anonymous were percolating with every prayer we could muster just about then.  Across the street the complex was huge.  There were four prisons inside the gates of the outer complex - had guard towers and patrol cars.  The low security prison to which I was designated was toward the outside - it was staring right at us.  Nothing looked particularly “low” about it.  It had two fences with sets of razor wire circling it.  As we drove inside, I got that tingling, vertigo-type feeling in the back of my knees that I get whenever I get to close to something dangerous.



The building was mildly attractive, as was the entire complex.  It looked kind of like the Long Island Railroad station where I grew up in Merrick, Long Island.  It was Arts & crafts style, made out of cement block and lots of metal - a 1970’s design concept that somehow looked more modern then than when it was built.  We walked into the lobby and I gave my name kind of like I was checking in to a hotel.  Tom and I were asked to have a seat.  About fifteen minutes later a guard came out and asked me what I was doing there on Easter Sunday.  I showed him my court orders – he did not look happy.  Nonetheless, he was pleasant as he asked Tom to leave.  I hugged Tom good-bye and went with the guard as then escorted me through a metal door.  From one moment to the next my life changed forever.



As we went through the door he spun me around, held my hands behind my back and slapped handcuffs on them.  I had been anticipating this moment for over a year and not once did I consider that I would have to be handcuffed.  At that moment I had my first inkling of how little I knew about surviving in prison – and what a naïve I guy I really was.  I was escorted to a bulletproof glass teller’s cage behind which was a guard who asked me for my “register number.”  I had no idea what that was - I’d never heard that term before.  He asked me for it again and when I didn’t know he came out and taped a number on my clothes.  That was my Federal Bureau of Prisons register number, and it became my identity for the next fourteen months.



I was next brought to a section called R & D - Receiving & Discharge - and it felt very much like its title - a place for FedEx packages.  I was processed and then told to strip naked. They took all my clothes and put them in a box to ship back home.  While I was standing naked in this cold room, on a cold cement floor, a man entered who I would later learn was the Head Lieutenant.  He basically ran the day-to-day operations of the prison.  He looked me up and down, and then asked me if I was the lawyer.  I told him no, but that I used to be one.  He seemed pleased with that answer.  He then told me that there were 1500 men on his compound, and I was to be the only lawyer.  There were some jailhouse lawyers working out of the library. He told me that I’d have no problems on his compound if I stayed out of other people’s legal business and I took no money or favors from another inmate.  He told me that I was a short-stayer and he suggested I just do my time and go home without a problem.  He asked me what I thought of that?  I was standing there naked.  I told him that making a few dollars from other inmates was the last thing on my mind.  We got along famously.



Soon, I was given an orange jump suit to put on, re-cuffed and was marched across the compound to the SHU.  It was a time-honored tradition at Allenwood to hoot and holler at new inductees as they were being led through the compound to the SHU on their first day.  I certainly didn’t understand why people were hollering at me.  The guards never told me where I was going or why.  As I later learned, the only information I ever get in prison was from the other inmates, and I couldn’t believe half of that. So working through the information process was basically sifting through, trying to get “reliable” resources, and hoping that where they got their information was reliable too.  As the saying went, in prison believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.  That afternoon, I was a guy in an orange jump suit walking across a prison yard trying to rely upon some of my senses that were failing me rapidly.



When I got to the SHU, it looked like something out of the worst prison movie I had ever seen - it was dark and dimly lit, with rows of metal doors with tiny holes in them.  I was put in a rubber lined holding cell, re-stripped and re-searched.  I guess when they were satisfied that I hadn’t picked up any weapons or contraband in the 300-foot walk from R & D I was brought to a small cell and led inside.  I was never told where I was or why I was there.  I didn’t know if this was what the entire prison was like, if it was a holding area, or how long I would be there.  I was just put in the cell.  Inside the cell was a narrow bunk bed - barely wide enough for a grown man’s shoulders - a combination toilet and sink, a desk and a chair.  And there I met my first cellie - a black man, around 50 years old, with dreadlocks down to his waist.  When I came in, he didn’t smile, didn’t acknowledge my presence at all.  He just pointed to the upper bunk.  I understood - that was mine.



His first words came about ten minutes later when he told me to move fast.  The sound of a cart moving down the hall meant we had no time to lose.  The slot on the metal cell door opened, kind of fell down to the hallway side with a big clang, and quickly, very quickly, four covered trays of food slid in through the slot.  I understood what he meant by moving fast.  If we didn’t catch the trays they would have dropped to the ground and the food would have spilled all over. He caught each tray and quickly handed them to me. I put them on the desk. We sat on the floor, dividing the dinner between us.  I had already decided that I was going to lose the forty pounds I had put on in the months I was waiting to go to prison.  I looked in the trays, and saw there was a little meat of some sort, and lots of bread, potatoes and rice. Starches were apparently the mainstay of the diet - I asked him if he wanted my potatoes and rice.  We became friends in no time.  His name was Raoul.



Almost everybody who came to Allenwood was first brought to the SHU, Raoul explained.  The party line was that they were waiting for a bed to open on the compound, and I found that might have been true to a large extent.  The prison was very crowded, much more crowded than what it was designed for.  So the SHU was used for extra beds.  It’s one reason we didn’t want to be disciplined by a guard – they had an incentive to give our beds on the compound to someone whose been waiting in the SHU for a month.  And it was a way of soothing the savage beasts.  Inmates were being transported from to and from other prisons - sometimes they were on the road for as much a ninety days.  It was called diesel therapy.  In each stop they would get put into a SHU and not into general population.  There was no way to know how long I’d be in the SHU, but Raoul suspected that I wouldn’t have to wait long: first timer, middle age, and most importantly, white.   I later learned that some inmates are kept in the SHU “waiting for a bed” thirty days or longer.  I only had to wait 16 hours before I was released onto the compound.



I was shoved out the door of the SHU without any other instructions than to report directly to the laundry.  It was about nine o’clock in the morning, bright daylight, and my eyes were trying to refocus after having been in a dungeon for the past day or so.  The light was blinding.  I was wandering around in a completely empty compound - there was not a single soul it in except me.  I had no idea that the compound was closed, what that meant, where I was or where the laundry was located.  Of course, my orange jumpsuit was a dead give away that I was coming from the SHU and heading to the laundry.  Where else would a guy in an orange jumpsuit be heading?  A guard was kind enough to point enough to point me in the right direction – I think it was through a bullhorn.



The laundry was located at the far end of the compound, next to the commissary and dining hall.  Once I got the lay of the land, which took me awhile, the layout of the prison kind of made sense.  Things that needed to have loading docks and daily deliveries were grouped together.  They were also strategically located close to trash receptacles.  I had a lot of time to think about these things.  



I got to the laundry and knocked on the big metal industrial door – my big rap was much louder than I intended.  The door opened a sliver and a head popped out to tell me that I would have to wait for the move before I could gain entry.  I had no idea what that meant, but after the door closed there was no way that I was going to knock on that door again.  In about fifteen minutes, a siren went off and people started scurrying around all over the place.  This, I understood, was the move.  The door popped open, I stepped inside and I was first in line.  I presented the clerk with the papers I had been given in the SHU – he sized me up for a uniform, t-shirts, shoes, a laundry bag, duffel, sheets, blanket, towels, a soap kit, and just about everything I would need to make my stay at Allenwood complete.  Labels were ironed onto the front of my uniforms.   I was told to try everything on because once issued, I was stuck with it.  I looked like Gomer Pyle, the shoes hurt already.  But who was I to complain?  This was not a fashion show.



At the next move, I threw my duffel over my shoulder and followed the clerk’s instructions to report to my unit that was, of course, the farthest one on the other side of the compound.  As I passed each unit, it appeared to me that they were named after counties or towns in Pennsylvania - a nice touch.  I arrived at my unit in under ten minutes - Union A.  I walked in the front door and came upon a lot of hustle and bustle.  The guard station was right up in front.  I presented my papers to the guard who looked me up and down, checked my register number and then showed me to an empty upper bunk in Cube 25. 


Union A, Cube 25, Upper Bunk would be home for the next thirteen and a half months. 

Link to online photo section for "The Art of Surviving Prison"
 

  ____________________
Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
Director, Progressive Prison Project/
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Assoc. Minister/
Director of Prison Ministries
First Baptist Church of Bridgeport
126 Washington Avenue, 1st Fl.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA 06604

(o) +1203.769.1096
(m) +1203.339.5887
jgrant@progressiveprisonproject.org
jg3074@columbia.edu
progressiveprisonproject.org 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Press Release: Bridgeport Pardons Assistance Project Receives $4000 Grant From ABCUSA


The Prison Ministries of
The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport
126 Washington Avenue
Bridgeport, Connecticut 066o4 

PRESS RELEASE:

 Bridgeport Pardons Assistance Project
bpapct.org 

The Prison Ministries of The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport announces that is the recipient of a $4000 Matthew 25 Grant from ABCUSA (the national body of the American Baptist Churches) to fund the Bridgeport Pardons Assistance Project!

We have opened the first pardons assistance office to cover all of Fairfield County (bpapct.org). 



The grant is specifically dedicated to be disbursed to clients to pay for their pardons related expenses such as transportation, police records, finger print costs, etc.
 

The Mission of the Bridgeport Pardons Assistance Project is to combat poverty, from the first day of an ex-offender’s release from prison, through a Culture of Pardons: public service, volunteerism, goodness, dedication, forgiveness, grace, discipline, faith, and family – these are kinds of things an ex-offender needs to obtain a Pardon. 

The BPAP is important for the Fairfield County reentry community because it marks real on-the-ground change borrowed from enlightened criminal justice theory espoused at the State of Connecticut Department of Corrections and by the State of Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles (with which dept. we are working closely).

Of course, not every ex-offender and family that applies for a Pardon will be granted one - but great things can and will happen for all who engage the process.  The point is create and engender a Culture of Pardons - the more ex-offenders who are granted pardons, the more we will combat lives of poverty for all ex-offenders and their families.

The BPAP’s objective is to bring professionalism and respect to a process at a time when our clients’ have already been through the most difficult and dehumanizing periods of their lives. Our volunteers have been trained at the State of Connecticut Board of Pardons & Paroles.  

The BPAP is part of a larger mission at the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport to welcome and offer a home to the reentry and recovery communities. We recognize it might be difficult to imagine in some churches - not in ours!  This plan has fully approved by both Senior Pastor Hopeton Scott and the full Congregation of The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport.


"We feel truly blessed in our mission to assist each and every person in the ex-offender community of Fairfield County to engage in a "Culture of Pardons" and to begin the pardon application process as soon as possible.  It is never too early to start the process of spiritual growth and transformation towards what just might lead to a pardon." 

For More Information:  Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div, 
Assoc. Minister / Director of Prison Ministries 
bpapct.org,
126 Washington Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06604 jgrant3074@bpapct.org, (203) 769-1096



__________________________



Rev. Jeff Grant, JD, M Div
Director, Progressive Prison Project/
Innocent Spouse & Children Project
Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Assoc. Minister/
Director of Prison Ministries
First Baptist Church of Bridgeport
126 Washington Avenue, 1st Fl.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA 06604

(o) +1203.769.1096
(m) +1203.339.5887
jgrant@progressiveprisonproject.org
jg3074@columbia.edu
progressiveprisonproject.org