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Author Topic: Stateville's First-Ever Class Of Barbers Graduate  (Read 1926 times)

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Offline me

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Stateville's First-Ever Class Of Barbers Graduate
« on: November 19, 2015, 09:24:16 AM »
Stateville's first-ever class of barbers graduate

Updated:Nov 18 2015 10:42PM CST

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - It was a very special day Wednesday for inmates at one of the state's toughest prisons.

Family and friends watched as the Barber College inside Stateville Correctional Center handed out diplomas to it's first-ever graduating class.

Call them the Barbers of Stateville: After 1500 hours of training inside one of the state's toughest correctional centers, 15 inmates received their diplomas from the Stateville Barber College.
The first-ever  graduation ceremony included a performance by the Stateville Choir, speeches by Illinois  Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, acting corrections director John Baldwin, and Bobby Mattison, who initiated this unique program.

“This has been eighteen years in the making, and to see you all? Man, thank you,” Mattison said.

Most of the inmates are still serving lengthy sentences, so instead of starting their new careers on the outside, they'll be transferred to other Illinois correctional centers, where they'll be cutting the hair of other inmates.

The ceremony's commencement speaker, graduate Anthony Thomas, has 15 years left on his 25 year sentence for attempted murder. 

“This day, this moment, is one of the best in my life,” Thomas.

Graduate Leon Cannon has served 18 years of a 50 year sentence for attempted robbery and murder.

“It means everything, you know. Not only does it prove to me that I have more to offer, but that I have a gift. I never knew that I had a gift or a knack for cutting hair until I became a barber and a part of the barber college,” said Leon Cannon.

When these graduates return to their communities, they'll still have to apply for their barber's license. But before long, the rules may be changed, so inmates might be able to get a license while they're still incarcerated.

“What we're looking for is creating a pathway that will allow them to get licensed while they're still in an institutional setting so that they're literally ready to go the day out the door,” said Bryan Schneider of The Department of Professional Regulation.

And while they're not out the door yet, today was a very big step in that direction.


Offline StayinTrue2Him

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Re: Stateville's First-Ever Class Of Barbers Graduate
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2015, 11:11:14 AM »
Thank you so much for posting this article,me! This was indeed a very special day for the all the guys who graduated,especially for Leon Canon....He is a very close friend of my fiance's and Leon's mother has become a very good friend of mine over the years. She is so very proud of her son! This program has given these men a real sense of worth and accomplishment. It goes to show that the development and implementing of programs that teach inmates a viable skill is well worth it. It is my hope that the barbering program continues as it is a major accomplishment in many respects for these men...Now that Randy Pfister has been put in place as the new warden,we are hoping he will step up and keep these programs as well as initiate new ones. The guys so far are saying that he seems like a good man as he has been making a point of going around and talking with the inmates...A good thing to hear in the midst of so many problems with other aspects of Stateville! Congrats to all the graduates! We commend you! :wc22: :wc6:
"You are the missing piece I've been waiting all my life for.."

Offline Kay

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Re: Stateville's First-Ever Class Of Barbers Graduate
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2015, 06:03:03 PM »
What a positive story!  Congrats to the graduates.  I hope the Barber College lives on and other programs are instituted statewide for our inmates.

Offline sdm

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Re: Stateville's First-Ever Class Of Barbers Graduate
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 06:06:33 AM »
 chickdance What great story! Congratulations to the inmates, families, and friends!