AF-Detroit: Prison Reform and Recidivism in Michigan (Virtual) - America's Future

AF-Detroit: Prison Reform and Recidivism in Michigan (Virtual)

December 15, 2020 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM


Online, Digital,

Ninety-five percent of inmates in state and federal prisons will be released eventually, and studies have consistently shown high rates of recidivism. A Bureau of Justice Statistics report published in May found that 83 percent of state prisoners released in 2005 were rearrested at least once within nine years of their release. That means that five out of every six of the prisoners released will be arrested for a new crime. These high rates of recidivism have significant implications for public safety, the stability of American communities, and on the individual lives of offenders trapped in the revolving doors of America’s prisons.

Join AF-Detroit on Monday, Dec. 15th for a virtual discussion as we discuss prison reform and recidivism for formerly incarcerated. We are excited to host speakers representing all sides of this issue, who will analyze and discuss the obstacles.

This event will take place on Zoom. Please register on Eventbrite to receive the access link.

Read about the speakers below:

Keith Bennett

Born and raised on the East side of Detroit by a single mother without a Father figure is a life a lot of men in Keith Bennett’s Flip the Script program can relate to. His mother was strong and did her best to make ends meet for the family, but most importantly, she showed Keith that with hard work and love, you can live a life to be proud of.

Before joining Goodwill, Keith started Common Wealth, a women’s program that works to transition women and their families out of foster care, and served as program director for more than 10 years. In April of 2003, Keith joined Goodwill with the hope of making a difference, and ultimately created the Flip the Script program where he now serves as Program Director. Flip the Script is a self-empowerment program designed to put Wayne County’s at-risk men and women to work by breaking down employment barriers. In 2016, 1,306 individuals were enrolled in Flip the Script and 125 entered GED preparations. Of the individuals in the program, 28 obtained an occupational license, 27 earned an industry-recognized certification and 431 were placed in competitive employment.

Mario Bueno

Mario Bueno is a reform expert, author, scholar, and co-founder of LUCK, Inc. His life’s work is dedicated to training, educating, and mentoring the most at-risk populations within the Detroit Metropolitan Area. His background includes a broad mix of experience that bridges scholarly work with his history of nineteen years in sixteen different adult prisons from the age of sixteen to his late twenties. He was released on parole on January 22, 2014. His purpose then, as now, is to reform angry, misguided young men.

Nicholas Buckingham

Nicholas Buckingham is the criminal justice reform organizer with Michigan United. After spending seven years incarcerated and catching the backlash of the the felony stigma, Nicholas decided to focus his attention on higher education and raising his voice for criminal justice reform. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, he has served as a board member with the Detroit chapter of the Nation Outside, he is an alumni of the 2017 JustleadershipUSA leading with conviction cohort, and the leading voice for the fair chance ordinance for the city of Detroit.

Ramona Fellmy

Ramona has had a full career taking many paths. She is a 15+ year fund and tech veteran who has spent a lot of time in-house on both the tech side and on the VC and startup side. Currently, Ramona has taken her passion for technology and people to focus on internship needs stemming from Covid-19 and what startup founders can do to collaborate with them, and their companies, for success now and in the future. Ms. Fellmy sees herself as a student of leadership, always working towards reinventing herself and staying ahead of the technology curve. Beyond professionally continually honing her expertise in IoT, Ms. Fellmy devotes her time to mentoring bright young minds with several organizations and non-profits, while serving her local church, community and animal shelters.

Dr. Stanley Andrisse, MBA, PhD

​Dr. Stanley Andrisse is a formerly incarcerated person who is now an endocrinologist scientist at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Amongst many other things, he is also a Board member for the Advocates for Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP).


Brandon Brice serves as Detroit Chapter Leader for America’s Future. Brandon has worked on Capitol Hill in the Office of former U.S. Speaker J. Dennis Hastert. Brandon later was appointed as Director of Education Affairs in the Office of former New Jersey Governor, Hon. Chris J. Christie. Brandon serves as Board President for Advantage Health of Detroit and is a member of the American Enterprise Institute, Leadership Detroit and the Michigan Political Leadership Program.