Twin Cities Second Chances 5K Supports Those with Criminal Records

Part of New Prison Fellowship Campaign to Expose and Eliminate “Second Prison” for 65 Million Americans with Criminal Records

Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans with a criminal record continually face significant legal, social and other barriers that inhibit them from fully contributing to society. While having paid their debt by serving their sentence, they still encounter a “second prison” upon release. This second prison not only holds them back but also results in Minnesota communities missing out on their potential contributions.

On May 1, a national leader in criminal justice reform and local advocacy groups that support second chances will host the inaugural Second Chances 5K Run/Walk at Concordia University, St. Paul’s Sea Foam Stadium to raise awareness and engage the Twin Cities community on the issue. The race is sponsored by Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families; and it is the first public event of the organization’s campaign called The Second Prison Project, which is designed to expose and eliminate the second prison in America.

Prison Fellowship is hosting the Twin Cities Second Chances 5K in coordination with local partners: Concordia University, St. Paul, the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition, and the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Simultaneously, the Minnesota Correctional Facilities at Lino Lakes and Stillwater (adult men’s facilities) and Shakopee (an adult women’s facility) will each host 5K events. Incarcerated men and women will run for an opportunity at a second chance inside the prison gates while their families, friends and supporters will run in commitment to offering that second chance on the outside.

One in four American adults—myself included—have a criminal record. I have struggled firsthand with the stigma and obstacles that face those with a record, even after fully paying for our mistakes,” said Jesse Wiese, director of community engagement at Prison Fellowship. “Through these races and The Second Prison Project campaign, Prison Fellowship hopes to mobilize men and women across America to raise a collective voice to support and promote the value of those with a criminal record. Minnesota and the entire nation are ready for change.


Sunday, May 1

Sea Foam Stadium
Concordia University, St. Paul
314 Hamline Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104

Race day registration and packet pick-up: 7:30 a.m. CT
Rally: 8:30 a.m. CT
Race start: 9 a.m. CT

$25, which includes the race shirt, bib, giveaways and chrono-timing

Media Opportunities:
Visuals of pre-race and race activity and interviews with race participants and speakers at the pre-race rally, including:

  • Former bank robber and criminal justice reform advocate Jesse Wiese, director of community engagement for Prison Fellowship and visionary behind The Second Prison Project campaign
  • Former gang leader, drug dealer and pimp John Turnipseed, vice president of Urban Ventures Center for Fathering
  • Ramsey County Attorney John Choi

On-site Media Contact: Heather Rice-Minus, 703.725.8479

On May 8, Prison Fellowship will also host a Second Chances 5K in Colorado Springs, Colorado, held in conjunction with the Breaking the Chain conference.

For more information and to register, visit

About Prison Fellowship
Prison Fellowship was founded in 1976 by Charles Colson, a former aide to President Nixon who served a seven-month sentence for Watergate-related crimes. Today the Christian nonprofit is the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families, and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform. With forty years of experience helping restore men and women behind bars, Prison Fellowship advocates for federal and state criminal justice reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims and encourage communities to play a role in creating a safe, redemptive and just society. Through The Second Prison Project campaign, Prison Fellowship seeks to expose and eliminate the second prison in America and to unlock second chances for the more than 65 million Americans with a criminal record.