Fred Weatherspoon was born on the Westside of Chicago where he was exposed to gang violence and the drug economy as a young person. He was involved in a crime at the age of 17 which resulted in him being incarcerated for 25-years. While incarcerated, Fred became a community leader and an advocate for incarcerated people. He became involved in a cognitive behavioral therapy program and eventually became a leader of that program. He earned his GED, and continued his academic studies on his own, in spite of the lack of access to formal education. After his release from prison, Fred completed a certification in carpentry and is now working as a mentor to formerly incarcerated young people at the Precious Blood Center. He also advocates for changes in juvenile policies through CRIIC, Communities and Relatives of Illinois Incarcerated Children. He has traveled to Springfield on numerous occasions to educate lawmakers on the effects of incarceration has had on their lives.
Thu October 29, 2020