P.E.P Graduation

P.E.P Graduation

Prison Entrepreneurship Program Graduates its 17th Class
of Future Business Owners and Employees

Graduates have real-world, marketable business skills upon release from prison

Dallas, June 4, 2012Prison Entrepreneurship Program, PEP, (www.pep.org), announces the June 8 graduation ceremony for its 2012 class. PEP is a business boot-camp that teaches qualified Texas prisoners real-world business skills so they may become productive members of the business community upon their release from incarceration.

PEP’s graduation ceremony marks the end of six months of work, including more than 1,000 hours of classroom instruction and hundreds of hours of homework, tests, group assignments, and one-on-one mentoring with business executives who have volunteered their time and expertise.

“PEP is about empowering men in prison to stay out of prison,” said Bert Smith, PEP’s chief executive officer. “Many of these men are just broken boys in the bodies of scarred men. PEP gives them marketable business skills, confidence, and hope—all of which translate into productivity in the workplace and economic savings to the state.”

Sixty-four men will receive their diploma at the cap-and-gown ceremony. Approximately 75 executive volunteers will be in attendance, as will about 150 family members, including children. In many cases, the children attending will see their fathers for the first time as they walk across the graduation stage. 

Historically, 100 percent of PEP graduates are employed within 90 days of release from prison, with the average number of days from prison to paycheck hovering at 26.

The PEP graduation ceremony marks a cost-saving milestone for the State of Texas: with an expected recidivism rate of less than 5% in Texas, compared to the state average of nearly 25%, these 64 graduates will save Texas more than $3 million upon release from prison in reduced incarceration costs.

PEP graduation takes place Friday, June 8, 2012, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Cleveland Correctional Center. Photos from previous ceremonies are available at http://prisonentrepreneurshipprogram.zenfolio.com.


Established in 2004, Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are servant leaders on a mission to transform inmates and executives by unlocking human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education, and mentoring. Our groundbreaking results include a return-to-prison rate of less than 5%, employment rate of 100% within 90 days, and the successful launch of more than 100 businesses.


Jeremy Gregg, Chief Development Officer, PEP

214.727.9829, [email protected]


Laurie Wegman, Founder, LW Communications

972.489.8879, [email protected]