He was ready to return to a life of crime. Dave's Killer Bread offered an alternative.

"It's the people who have been given that second chance who work all that much harder to make something of it."

Andre Eddings’ life was beginning to look dire.

After being caught and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, Eddings was in jail with a felony record. “I remember thinking to myself, 'I’m a failure now,'” he says. “I will never amount to anything. I’m just throwing my life away.”

As a kid, Eddings had shown a lot of promise. Growing up with parents who struggled to get by, he was dedicated to creating a life for himself. “I wanted to make something of myself. I wanted to become successful. I wanted a good job making a livable wage,” he says.

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Dave's Killer Bread

Marcus Bullock spent his most formative years in a prison.

He was 15 when he was convicted and served eight years — a shockingly common experience. Of the millions of people incarcerated in the United States, about 70,000 of them are juveniles.

Marcus, though, was determined to become more than just a statistic.

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Dave's Killer Bread

Chris Bisbano was serving an 18-year prison sentence when a drama class changed his life.

"We’re not teaching inmates to be actors. We’re giving them the tools of creative expression, and more importantly, emotional awareness."

60 days after Chris Bisbano was released from prison, he found himself back again, this time by choice.

He was there to teach a drama class with The Actors' Gang Prison Project. As he walked in, he noticed the inmates eyeing his tattoos, all of which he got during his 18-year sentence at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, California, for attempted murder. He knew he stuck out from the other teachers but didn't realize how much of a difference that would make until he introduced himself to the inmates.

Chris Bisbano (center, arm outstretched) with a group of inmates participating in The Actors' Gang Prison Project at Norco. Photo by Peter Merts. All photos used with permission.

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He was an inmate. Now he's a Ph.D., and he wants to pay it forward.

Want to rehabilitate and reintegrate prisoners into society? Offer them education.

For many former convicts, punishment extends far beyond the time they spent in prison.

A National Institute of Justice study found that 60-75% of individuals are unable to find work within the first year of being released from prison. With increased unemployment comes increased chances that they will return to their previous habits, winding up back in prison, and continuing a disturbing cycle.

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