As a formerly incarcerated person with three felony convictions, Stanley Andrisse was faced with the challenges of finding a career pathway upon release. Andrisse, executive director, Prison to Professionals, says, “When I was released, I realized that there were these roadblocks in place for people with criminal convictions who wanted to put their lives back together.”
WorkingNation sat down with Andrisse at Presented by JFF Horizons – See Beyond 2022 in New Orleans.
He says, “The mission of the organization is to help individuals who’ve been impacted by the system excel beyond what society and life circumstances has set to be the norm. We want to help people get meaningful jobs. We want to help people bring purpose and value into their lives and into the lives of others.”
“We run our own training programs,” says Andrisse. “We have about 30 people employed on the team and about 85% of the people on our team are formally incarcerated. We truly believe that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, but often furthest from resources and access to funds to actually create solutions.”
He continues, “We employ our mission. The benefit to that is not only are they formally incarcerated, but they have the credentials, the schooling, the education, and the certifications behind them to offer the things that we do.”
Participants are given guidance to help them determine a career pathway that may lead to applying for programs at higher ed institutions. Others might opt for a shorter-term training opportunity. “In the past five years, we’ve had close to a thousand applications for the program. And from that data, about 35% are looking for STEM careers,” says Andrisse.
In addition to his role with P2P, Andrisse is also an endocrinology scientist, as well as faculty at Howard University College of Medicine.
Learn more about Prison to Professionals.