New UWM scholarship offered to children of inmates

(L to R): Stan Stojkovic, dean, HBSSW; Percy Pitzer, founder, Creative Corrections Education Foundation; Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive; Mike Hafemann, superintendent, Milwaukee House of Correction.

All current and accepted UWM students who have an incarcerated or paroled parent or legal guardian are eligible for a new scholarship that will be administered by the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare (HBSSW) starting in spring 2014. (Read the recent op-ed in The New York Times about this effort.)

HBSSW has partnered with Creative Corrections Education Foundation to create the Creative Corrections Education Foundation Fund. The initial investment is $10,000. “The plan is to grow this with contributions from the community,” says Richard Kessler, HBSSW development director.

The hope is obvious: for inmates’ children not to follow a life of crime. “We’re trying to break the cycle by supporting the education of prisoners’ children,” says Stan Stojkovic, HBSSW dean. According to the American Correctional Association, up to 50 percent of incarcerated juveniles have an incarcerated parent.

No preference will be given to criminal justice or social work students. “The idea is to help any student going to UWM,” Stojkovic says.

To be eligible, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a parent or legal guardian who is currently incarcerated or on parole.
  • Be a current UWM student in good standing, accepted UWM freshman, or a transfer student.

Online applications will be available in the spring.

Creative Corrections Education Foundation is a Texas-based nonprofit organization founded by Boscobel, Wis., native Percy Pitzer, a retired warden at the Federal Correctional Institution, Oxford (Wis.). The foundation’s mission is to support equal opportunities for students whose parent or guardian is incarcerated or paroled, and stop second-generation crime.

Education has a research-proven, powerful effect on crime prevention, Stojkovic says. “People with college educations are less likely to commit crimes, from murder to theft. Every year of education makes a difference.” Even small amounts of education can reduce the number of our city’s serious, violent crimes, he says.

To contribute to this scholarship:

  • Online:
  • Mail: UWM Foundation, Creative Corrections Educational Foundation Fund, 1440 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202