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Philanthropy From "Behind The Bars"

Connecticut-Born, DR. ERNEST C. GARLINGTON, Successfully Continues His Efforts to Promote Human Welfare

/ Suffield, CT, December 6, 2012 -- Dr. Garlington spent the greater part of his life as a licensed Christian counselor, author, motivational speaker and founder/CEO of the Stone Mountain Counseling and Retreat Center, as well as the former director of Family Services for New Opportunities in Waterbury, Connecticut. Now, Dr. Garlington is an inmate at the MacDougall Walker Correction Institution located in Suffield, Connecticut.

He provides an extraordinary story of a selfless, committed, progressive, inspiring, enthusiastic contributor to the children of Connecticut, as well as to his fellow inmates. The exceptional, successful projects he has conceived and developed while behind bars have not gone unnoticed by the penal system, nor by Connecticut communities. Working alongside Dr. Garlington is his devoted "team" which includes his loving wife, psychologist, Dr. Darlene Powell Garlington, his two adult children who lovingly support him and refer to him as their "inspiration" for success, Assistant Attorney General of Connecticut, William G. Bumpus, Dr. Garlington's friend, partner, and voice outside the prison walls, a CEO and CFO of a major non-profit organization, social workers, a graphic designer, a training/development professional and numerous attorneys who all believe in Dr. Garlington's vision and have volunteered to help bring his projects to fruition. His strong support also includes the donation of all project essentials, advertising, and printing to support each of Dr. Garlington's projects. In short, whether behind bars, or as a free man, Dr. Garlington has always dedicated his life to helping others.

Dr. Garlington's most impressive, impactful and far-reaching projects have been the "Reading Between the Bars" program and the "University Televised School (TVS)" program.
The "Reading Between the Bars" program seeks to incentivize positive behaviors by inmates, with the "reward" of reading aloud and recording one of three, pre-selected, donated, recordable books and providing the book to their children/grandchildren during the holidays. The books perfectly encapsulate the importance of family bonding. Members of Dr. Garlington's "team" deliver the program and assist the inmates with the recording. To date, over 100 recordable books have been donated and have been provided to the children/grandchildren of inmates at Connecticut's Garner Correctional Facility for Christmas 2011, Father's Day 2012 and for Christmas 2012. The project has been such a success that the "team" was asked to schedule another date for a holiday in 2013.

The "TVS Program" is an evolving program which will provide/expand educational opportunities to inmates in Connecticut via a state-of-the-art In-Cell Educational Cable Delivery System. ( Dr. Garlington and his "team" have secured funding to review and revamp the In-Cell cable delivery system at the Garner Correctional Facility in Newtown, Connecticut. Additionally, 1,000 "smart TV boxes" have been donated for this project. Aside from standard educational programming, a Behavior Modification module will be developed by a leading psychologist from the Criminology and Criminal Justice department at Central Connecticut State University. A pilot program will begin after all approvals have been obtained. The TVS Program, once fully implemented, will help decrease the rate of recidivism, thereby making Connecticut safer. It will also save Connecticut hundreds of millions of dollars, and it will not cost the taxpayers of Connecticut a dime.

Dr. Garlington's projects have also included an annual Gently-Used Children's Book Drive which, during its first year, collected well over 20,000 children's books. These donated books are then distributed to Connecticut children during the holidays. His educational background and career mission have been to focus on closing the academic achievement gap for inner city schools. Dr. Garlington strongly believes, and research supports this belief, that early-age reading has a direct positive impact. This year, his "team" is working with New Haven Reads, whose mission is "to share the joy and power of reading". New Haven Reads provides an environment where children and adults have access to free books and tutoring to increase their literacy skills and academic performance. Similarly, Dr. Garlington's Comic Book Sale project resulted in the donation of over 8,000 collectible comic books by a private collector. The "team" arranged to sell the comics to either collectors or the general public. The proceeds from this sale are being used to recondition donated bicycles and purchase new helmets for "at-risk" Connecticut children.

All of these projects, as well as others, are explained in detail on Dr. Garlington's website: