The Houston-based Prison Entrepreneurship Program began operations in 2004 and operates now in the Cleveland Correctional Facility in Cleveland, Texas, with plans to open a second unit in a Dallas-area prison this year. Some facts and figures about the program since it began:
CLEVELAND, Texas (AP) — Standing in a prison chow hall, Richard Chavez Jr. outlines his past: violent felon, former gang member, the fourth member of his family to go to prison. Then his future: owner of a mobile counseling youth service that goes where the troubled kids are.
President Barack Obama has invited a handful of average Americans who wrote him letters about their lives to his annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. "Every day, we get thousands of letters and emails at the White House from Americans across the country, and every night, I read 10 of them," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, broadcast on Saturday. "They tell me about their hopes and their worries, their hardships and successes. They’re the Americans I’m working for every day, and this year, several of these letter writers will join me at the Capitol." The president said he had invited a woman from Colorado, Carolyn Reed, who expanded her business with a loan from the Small Business Administration. Victor Fugate of Missouri would also be among his guests.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Responding for the first time to the firestorm of criticism over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations, film academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says the all-white acting slate inspires her to accelerate the academy's push to be more inclusive. She also hopes the film industry as a whole will continue to strive for greater diversity.