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Serving a Life Sentence after Prison: Sentencing Reform

  • Serendipity Labs Columbus 21 East State Street Columbus, OH, 43215 United States (map)

With more than 2 million individuals serving sentences in jails and prisons, America reportedly incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. Ballooning prison rates are straining the federal and state government budgets, but, more importantly, causing substantial indirect costs for incarcerated individuals. From lost wages and atrophy of skills to job applicants with criminal records receiving an interview request or job offer half as often as applicants without criminal records, re-entry can be disheartening for former felons.

America’s Future Foundation — Columbus chapter is hosting an evening of dialogue about sentencing reform and criminal justice policy in Ohio with author Harley Blakeman and The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Fellow, Daniel Dew. In addition to the evening’s discussion, come enjoy drinks and appetizers on us and network with other young professionals motivated about liberty and free-enterprise in Ohio!

Join us at 5:30pm in the Serendipity Labs (on the southwest corner of Capital Square, downtown Columbus) for food, drinks, networking, and discussion about where criminal justice policy is headed in the Buckeye state. The programed portion of the evening will start at 6:15pm, with Harley Blakeman, author of Grit: How to Get a Job and Build a Career with a Criminal Record,and criminal justice reform expert, Daniel Dew, talking policy reform.


Harley Blakeman had a very tough life from age fourteen to twenty-five — losing his father, battling drug addiction, homelessness, going to prison for selling drugs, and trying to get a job and build a career with a criminal record. Now, Harley has a successful corporate business career and runs his own online business, In his first-of-its-kind book, Harley Blakeman tells of his run-in with drug addiction and incarceration. After completing a 14-month prison sentence and moving to a new city, he faced the same painfully challenging task that millions of other Americans are facing today – getting a job and building a career with a felony record.

Daniel Dew is the Legal Fellow at The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center. In this capacity, Dew focuses on legal policies that promote freedom and the public good. He has worked on policies that increase Ohioans’ safety, makes the criminal justice system fairer, and saves taxpayer dollars. Dew was a leading voice in reforming Ohio’s civil asset forfeiture policies and worked closely with Ohio’s Criminal Justice Recodification Committee on developing proposals to reform the state’s criminal code. Dew currently serves on the Ohio Justice Reinvestment Initiative Ad Hoc Committee, which brings together legislators, judges, prosecutors, prison officials, defense lawyers, and criminal justice experts to find ways Ohio can safely reduce its prison population.

Earlier Event: May 8
Later Event: June 19
CLEAN Program (Canton, OH)