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Old 10-18-2010, 02:22 AM
scoopster scoopster is offline
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Default Ex-inmates in Ohio launch careers as entrepreneurs


CLEVELAND — For nearly 10 years, Augustus Turner had a lot of time to ponder an American dream that he refused to believe was out of reach because of a big mistake and a permanent label. Turner was a prison inmate, hoping to run his own business after serving time for drug trafficking.
He knew the odds weren't good. Although 97 percent of prisoners are eventually released, only 53 percent find work, and a far smaller share start their own businesses.
"What I learned from the streets is how to hustle," said Turner, 39. "You can dream. You can pray. It all starts there. But you have to actively make it happen." And he did. Today, Turner operates Masterpieces, a 10-year-old art studio, tattoo shop and silk-screening business in Cleveland.
Turner made his dream happen through sheer perseverance, but a growing movement across the country is trying to train released convicts to achieve success as entrepreneurs.
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