James Ruffin III, UBalt's First Second Chance Graduate, Celebrates the Completion of His Degree
December 30, 2021
Contact: Office of Advancement and External Relations
The University of Baltimore's first graduate of its lauded Second Chance College Program, James Ruffin III, is featured in The Baltimore Sun only days after receiving his degree during the University's Fall Commencement ceremony.
Ruffin earned a B.A. in Human Services Administration, which he plans to use in his efforts to establish a nonprofit to assist those who are transitioning to life after prison. Ruffin began his degree while incarcerated at Jessup Correctional Institute, then continued his classes after he was released in 2019. He is the first person in the program to complete all credits toward his degree, earning honors along the way. He also worked full-time and managed family obligations. Now, he wants to give back to others.
"If I can provide housing, provide transportation to a job, provide clothing, that type of stuff, I think that I can help out with the recidivism rate (and) give guys a chance," Ruffin tells the newspaper.
Since 2016, The University of Baltimore's Second Chance program has been a part of the U.S. Department of Education's Second Chance Pell Grant Experimental Sites Initiative. UBalt is one of more than 60 institutions from across the country to offer a post-secondary education to incarcerated individuals; the program is now growing in Maryland and other states. Research indicates that recidivism among participants is reduced by a high percentage, as they experience opportunities for employment and involvement in society.
Read the article in The Baltimore Sun.
Read a letter to the editor of the Sun in support of Second Chance, written by Bill Denison, a board member at the Alternatives to Violence Project.
Learn more about UBalt's B.A. in Human Services Administration.