Inmates Bank on Business Program for a New Start
POSTED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 1:14pm
CLEVELAND, Texas — As Christopher Holbert danced down the aisle of a Cleveland Correctional Center classroom, dozens of other prisoners in matching dark blue scrubs flanked him, clapping and cheering in a deafening roar. When he reached the front of the classroom, he spoke for 10 minutes on his business plan for "Adrenaline Indoor Paintball," an idea he has worked on over the last year.
With three investors lined up, he plans to create the company when he returns to the Dallas area. But first he has to finish his three-year sentence for arson.
“I used to be complacent,” Holbert said. “Without prison I would have never known how to start my own business.”
Holbert, 39, is one of more than 100 students in the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, an initiative organized by a Houston nonprofit of the same name that teaches business skills to prisoners who will soon be released, including market research, finance and professional etiquette. Inmates across the state can apply, and those accepted are transferred to the Cleveland Correctional Center, which houses the program.
Read more from the Texas Tribune.