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Ban the Box on College Applications

Organized by Dr. Stan Andrisse
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Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - front
Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - back
Ban the Box on College Applications shirt design - zoomed
Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - front
Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - back
Ban the Box on College Applications shirt design - zoomed
Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - front
Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - back
Ban the Box on College Applications shirt design - zoomed
Gildan Ultra Cotton T-shirt

Buy a shirt to Support College After Incarceration!

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All funds raised will be paid directly to From Prison Cells to PhD, Inc for Supporting College After Incarceration.
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Gildan Ultra Cotton T-shirt
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  • Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - small
  • Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - small
  • Ban the Box on College Applications Fundraiser - unisex shirt design - small
Organized by Dr. Stan Andrisse

About this campaign

Demand that universities/colleges provide an application that does not include the discriminatory "box" nor ask applicants any question(s) pertaining to past guilt or conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or other prior offense in the initial application process.

Statistics Support College After Incarceration: The national recidivism rate (1) drops from 76% to 5.6% if an individual obtains a bachelor’s degree and below 1% with a Masters degree (2,3). Most crimes on campus are committed by people with no prior convictions (4).

Thus, as a public safety strategy, universities and colleges should be doing everything they can to promote access to higher education – not create more barriers.

Support this Petition: Job Opportunities Task Force in partnership with From Prison Cells to Phd and other organizations insist that you support “Ban the Box on College Applications.” Sign the petition here: http://fromprisoncellstophd.org/ban-the-box

My name is Dr. Stanley Andrisse. I am a formerly incarcerated person with 3 felony convictions and now an endocrinologist scientist at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Furthering one’s education is critical to successful reentry into society.

Growing up in Ferguson-Florissant, Missouri, I got involved with making poor decisions at a very young age. By my early 20’s, those poor decisions had exacerbated and I found myself sitting in front of a judge facing 20 years to life for drug trafficking charges. The judge sentenced me to 10 years in a maximum-security prison. I did a lot of reading, writing, and soul searching in prison. Through many letters to judges and correctional officials, I was accepted into a drug rehabilitation program while in prison.

Very much tied to my departure, my dad’s health plummeted while I was in prison. Through phone calls and letters, I’d hear that piece by piece, they amputated his lower limbs up to his torso. Before I could reconcile our relationship, he fell into a coma and passed due to complications associated with type 2 diabetes. In living and in passing, he was and remains my inspiration. Upon release, after several rejections, I was accepted into a Ph.D. program, completed my Ph.D./M.B.A. simultaneously, and moved on to Johns Hopkins Medicine performing diabetes research.

Education has been the game changer for me. I share this with you to give you the perspective of why what I do is important to me. Policies like the "Ban the Box" bill will help change the life trajectory of men and women with criminal records. I am a three-time convicted felon. Education has given me the tools and the titles to balance out those strikes that I placed against me. More important than the letters behind my name, education has broadened my life perspective and has given me hope.

I am quite certain that it was because of this “criminal conviction” question that I was rejected from several of the PhD programs I had applied to. Fortunately for me, I had made a good impression on one of my college professors (before I went to prison). This professor vouched for me and had a connection to the admissions committee at Saint Louis University. I completed my PhD at the top of my class and 2 years earlier than expected, suggesting that I was indeed qualified to have been admitted to the other programs.

The short one sentence "Convictions" question is a mountainous barrier to one’s successful reintegration into society. It is my and many others’ scarlet letter. Yes, I am a convicted felon. But I am also a doctor, a scientist, an MBA holder, a newlywed husband, a son to an aging mother, a community organizer, an institutional leader, a youth mentor, a published author, and many other things. Eliminating me before you know all of these other great things is an injustice to society.

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