Master's Degree for Restorative Justice

Leo Hylton is my brother and he has worked hard to earn his Associate's & Bachelor's Degrees. Leo is now reaching out for a boost in obtaining his Master's Degree so he can continue trying to make the world a better place from his position in an awful place. The following is a letter he wrote and asked me to share along with this GoFundMe request. Thank you in advance for your kindness, whether you show it in funds or encouragement.

"I am humbly and prayerfully seeking assistance in my efforts to revolutionize the way we do Criminal Justice in America. I am a bi-racial Black man (half Jamaican, half white), currently incarcerated for a crime I did commit (violent home invasion), doing a prison sentence that exceeds a reasonable punishment (90 years, all suspended but 50 years). I was 18 years old at the time. Scared, desperate, stupid, and fresh out of foster care (for more of my personal story, please read "The Awesome Power of Forgiveness" on I want to change that reality for the young people tomorrow.

Toward this end, I tutor and mentor my fellow prisoners, and teach a Restorative and Transformative Justice education-and-practicum course, helping men see the humanity within themselves and others. I also serve as Executive Secretary of the prison Branch of the N.A.A.C.P., as a hospice volunteer, and as a K9 Corrections dog handler (caring for and training dogs to help them be more adoptable). Further, I obtained both an Associate's and Bachelor's Degree while incarcerated - with a 3.95 GPA.

I was recently accepted into a Master's program of George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. However, that education comes with a hefty price tag ($23,595 estimate). As an incarcerated citizen, I am unable to incur debt, so cannot apply for school loans. By investing in my education, you will be enabling me to include my voice of painful life experience in the global conversation about Criminal Justice and Prison Reform, a conversation largely held by academics who have not seen, heard, and felt the injustices penetrated by the American Criminal Justice System.

With the skills and tools I develop through this Master's program, I aim to complete a thesis that researches what social support systems/programs need to be developed in order to keep communities safe, while decreasing prison populations (to be completed in 3 years). From that research, I will develop a comprehensive plan for policy change and implementation (within 1 - 2 years). Once the plan is complete, I will begin to walk out those changes with the aid of the support network I will be building along the way.

This is the vocation to which I have dedicated the rest of my life. By investing in me, you will be investing in the coming infusion of true justice and equity in a System built upon generations of injustice and inequity. I know times are uncertain and very difficult, but I need your help to see my vision to fruition. I would greatly appreciate any assistance you are able to provide.

Respectfully submitted,

Leo Hylton #70199
807 Cushing Road
Warren, ME 04864"
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Organizer and beneficiary

Thazra-Rosie Hylton-earthchild
Brunswick, ME
Susan Hylton

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