MACON, Ga. (WMGT) – Inmates at a prison in middle Georgia are working to turn their lives around, earning college credit while creating textbooks for visually impaired students.
Aloha Braille owner and CEO, Randy Davis, opened the business a week after he got out of prison in June 2013.
It’s been flourishing ever since and helping inmates and students all over the United States.
“I was in a dark place and that’s what got me here and when I was ready to rebuild and this was a vehicle that was awesome,” Davis said, adding, “The rewarding aspect of giving back to, not just giving back to a student that needs it that hungers for it.”
Central State Prison in Macon is the only prison in Georgia operating the Braille program and it’s one of only 23 in the country. Inmates transcribe textbooks of different subjects for visually impaired students in preschool to 12th grade.
The braille transcribing process is learned along with advanced training, certification and resume building for when inmates, like James Cozine, prepare for reentry into society.
“It gives you, not only a skill that you can use to make legal money when you get out, it gives you transferable skills to teach you attention to details to teach you discipline, to teach you to communicate with people in authority, people that you work with,” Cozine said. “It’s teaching you skills you need to succeed out in the real world.”
The Braille expo gives offenders a chance to demonstrate how the program is helping them give back to the community. Inmates also gain valuable work skills for when they re-enter into society.
By the time the inmates complete this program, they will receive up to 29 hours of college credits for free that they can carry with them when they are released.