FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2009
Karlton S. Harris Minister, Writer, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur
“I’M FREE! NOW WHAT?”
10-STEP Prisoner Guide to Reduce Recidivism
KANKAKEE, IL- After great anticipation, Karlton S. Harris released his first book “I’M FREE! NOW WHAT?” on Saturday, July 18th, 2009 at Olivet Nazarene University’s Weber Center located One University Avenue Bourbonnais, IL. In “I’m Free! Now What?” Karlton addresses the challenges that men and women encounter upon being released from prison. Based on Karlton’s personal experiences, “I’m Free! Now What?” gives 10 steps that ex-offenders can follow to remain free by becoming successful parents and law abiding citizens.
Growing up in a single parent home, Karlton was influenced greatly by lessons learned on the streets. Because of the lack of a male role model or “father figure”, he headed down the wrong path, which led to his arrest. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but through the grace and mercy of God, his sentence was reduced which led to his early release. After serving 5 years, he was released February 14th, 2000. While incarcerated, Karlton accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and has developed a passion and yearning to go back into the penal system and help those who are currently in the same boat that he was in.
Today Karlton has been free for over 9 ½ years, and because he was given a second chance, Karlton wants to help others with their transition back into society. He knows from first hand experience the challenges and obstacles that are waiting once outside the prison walls. From rejection, to
temptation to the biggest thing…..fear. His guide through the DAMASCUS RD experience will help others to take on all the challenges that they will face once free. This book will certainly serve as a guide to many.
Karlton is a great advocate for men and women everywhere who are or have been incarcerated. He has and continues to make a difference in numerous lives because he has found the answer to the question “Now What?” Karlton is committed to the Kankakee County Community, the State of Illinois, and to helping develop ways to reduce the prison recidivism rate. He is currently working with various community leaders and the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department re-entry program. Karlton is the newly elected President of the KCRO (Kankakee County Renewed Opportunity) a non profit organization focused on providing services to offenders returning to Kankakee County. Because he’s so passionate about prison ministry, he goes back and visits with inmates that are incarcerated, giving Bible studies and offering much needed emotional support to those in need. For Karlton,
it is an honor and a privilege to be able to offer assistance to others who are in the shoes he once filled. Besides volunteering his time for prison ministry, Karlton also writes books, does motivational speaking and has completed a documentary film.
One week after his book, “I’m Free! Now What?” was released the Jerome Combs Detention Facility purchased 1000 copies. After reading Karlton’s book Chief Mike Downey of the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department determined that this book would be an asset to the detainees. Since Aug. 17, 2009, Karlton has been teaching 2 weekly classes from his book. Each class consists of 20 men. This 6 week course is structured to equip the men and women with the ability to be able to remain free once they are released. Upon completion participants will receive a certificate. In addition to the men’s class, Karlton’s book is being taught weekly by Evangelist Carolyn Butler to the women in the Jerome Combs Detention Facility.
“AGAINST ALL ODDS- THE DOCUMENTARY OF KARLTON HARRIS”
“Against All Odds“ is the story of Karlton Harris. At the age of 19, Karlton was sentenced to 18 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for possession of a controlled substance and armed violence. While incarcerated, Karlton denounced his gang affiliation and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. After serving 5 years of his 18 year prison sentence, Karlton was miraculously released. It has been 9 years since his release and he has defied the odds by not returning. Instead of returning to prison with a new sentence, Karlton returns weekly educating prisoners from his new book “I’m Free! Now What?“ He teaches 10 steps that reduces the chance of them re-offending. Because Karlton has been given a second chance, he not only helps others like HIMSELF, he defies the odds thereby placing the odds in the favor of his sons NEVER being a part of the penal system. A trailer of this documentary can be viewed by clicking on the following link http://www.karltonharris.com/Video.html
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT KARLTON HARRIS:
“Karlton Harris represents a hope for others who have been caught up in the criminal justice system.“
Judge Clark Erickson
Twenty-First Judicial Circuit Court
“Based on his books, he will do well!“ Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott, Chief Judge of the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit Court
“It seems like everything is set up to get you behind bars, but when you come back to society its very difficult for you...Karlton has continued on with that...to give someone the same opportunity he had...to turn their life around!“
Elder Claudius Anderson, Pastor
House of Prayer Apostolic Church of God
“If people succeed then communities succeed! I look forward to continuing to work with Karlton....and be right there with them when we need legislative action and funding. I am honored to have met Karlton, who I think brought, even to me, an understanding I didn’t have before of how hard it can be. When people serve their sentence and have done their time, they have a right to be able to come back and make their life better.“
Lisa Dugan, State Representative
79th District, Illinois
“He really put some good motivation in people’s hearts! He should keep on doing it!“
Michael Crawford — Prisoner
CONTACT: Karlton Harris (815) 295-3331