CIU’s Faith Based and Free Enterprise Initiatives Viewed as a National Model for Criminal Justice Reform
Dr. Scott R. Adams, the Dean of the Columbia International University (CIU) School of Business and Professional Studies in Columbia, South Carolina, will be speaking at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Philadelphia on November 7th regarding contemporary issues in the Prison and Criminal Justice system.
This national event will focus on public policy initiatives at the federal, state and local levels, featuring a number of foundations and other groups working toward similar goals. The event will be hosted within the State Correctional Institution Complex in Chester Pennsylvania to an audience of national figures, elected officials and foundation leaders.
Dr. Adams will be discussing CIU’s work on two fronts: their faith-based prison program and their free enterprise initiative.
The faith-based program, the CIU Prison Ministry Program, provides incarcerated persons with an educational curriculum leading to a degree in Ministry. Taught by CIU professors, the selected inmates receive an Associate of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies. After graduation, they are relocated to prisons throughout South Carolina, where they become chaplains and ministers within the various facilities. This program has been incredibly successful, with a 0% recidivism rate among those who have graduated.
The second initiative, called Business Behind Bars, educates incarcerated persons about entrepreneurship, leadership and management and provides the skills necessary to start, grow and manage a successful business. The goal of this program is to utilize the state-funded vocational skills provided in prison and direct them into successful post-incarceration enterprises. In this way, graduates of the program can return to the workforce as productive members of society–reducing their dependence on public assistance and alleviating the so-called “qualified workforce shortage crisis.”
“These two programs complement one another,” said CIU School of Business Dean Scott R. Adams, “as they build upon the same framework of contacts and experience in conducting an effective and successful educational program within the correctional system.”
The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. It is through the efforts of groups such as Columbia International University, it’s School of Business, and platforms such as the Prison CPAC that create a space for solving the underlying problems leading to such high rates of imprisonment. CIU’s initiatives on this front are particularly valuable, as they create paths to avoid recidivism through both a Christian and entrepreneurship education. The presentation of these initiatives to such an influential group as those attending the CPAC Conference has the potential to exemplify their positive effects to a national audience.
Dr. Scott R. Adams has over three decades of experience in law and executive management for major international law firms and corporations, including Dow Corning Corporation, Insignia Financial Group, Inc., Pirelli North America and Prysmian Group.
Dr. Adams earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) from Brooklyn Law School in New York City and holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and Allied Legal Services from the University of Central Florida.
He has been very involved in community affairs in the Midlands, serving in key leadership positions with many civic, business and educational organizations including: Director of the Christ Central Medical Clinic, Chairman of the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chairman of Midlands Technical College Foundation, and as a board member of Lexington Interfaith Community Services, Central SC Alliance, and the Central Carolina Community Foundation.
He was named South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development by former Governor Nikki Haley and Lexington County Ambassador for Economic Development by the Lexington County Council in 2012.
Dr. Adams is a frequent lecturer at the USC Darla Moore School of Business, an advisor to the Christian Business Network, and counsels businesses throughout the world on management and leadership fundamentals, marketing strategy and regulatory compliance. He is Faculty Advisor to CIU’s Fellowship of Christian Professionals student organization.