© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Adam Procell's journey from crime to now giving people a second chance

An indoor job and housing fair. In the foreground, a person standing speaks speaks with another sitting down at a table, while in the background more people mill about.
Courtesy of Community Warehouse
Home to Stay organizes resource fairs like the one above to help people returning from prison find resources.

When you meet Adam Procell today, you’ll meet a humble, soft-spoken man fighting to make it easier for people coming out of prison to transition back into society.

But Procell’s journey to today has not been smooth. Three days after turning 15, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years for a gang-related homicide. While in prison he began working with young people to steer them away from the gang-centered life that led him to prison.

Paroled in 2018, after more than two decades in prison, Procell continued his outreach work. But he also noticed that while Milwaukee did have services for those exiting prison, these resources were often scattered and difficult to access if you did not have a car.

“I started to realize that Milwaukee has a fair amount, almost an abundance of, reentry resources. But the problem is they are all siloed and nobody speaks to one another,” Procell says.

Today, Procell wears many hats. He’s an adjunct instructor at Marquette University, is the interim director at Partners In Hope, co-founder of Paradigm Shyft and organizes monthly resource fairs for those reentering the community from prison through the Home to Stay program.

All of these hats tie together in two ways: Simplifying the process in finding housing, employment, and building trust between people reentering the community from prison and law enforcement — who may still hold biases against them based on their past.

Procell says it's imperative to give people some grace and assistance in obtaining basic needs to provide them with a chance at success.

“Ninety five percent of the people who are in prison one day get out. That’s just a fact," he says. "If these individuals are releasing, and they are, how can we ensure that we maximize them becoming who you want them to become?”


Sam is a WUWM production assistant for Lake Effect.
Related Content