67-Year-Old Woman Biking Cross Country, Fundraising for Programs that Help the Formerly Incarcerated

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Lindsay Waite, 67, took a rest stop in Lubbock Thursday afternoon, after starting a cross country bike ride on April 2.

She is cycling from Albuquerque to Baltimore to raise awareness and money for prison reform. She’s calling her cause ‘New Beginnings’ and all the money she raises will be given to different organizations that help people in their post-prison lives.

“These programs just help people acclimate to life on the outside,” Waite said. “If you’ve been in a few years or 20 years, it’s a very very different world.”

Waite said her interest in the prison system began in the 1990’s when she was public defender in Baltimore.  One day she was asked to teach a legal writing class at a prison.

“I said yes after thinking about it and talking with my family and it ended up being the most meaningful experience,” Waite said. “I realized pretty quickly that there is no difference between people, we have the same hopes and dreams.”
 
A few years ago, she moved to downtown Albuquerque and decided to start ‘New Beginnings.”
 
“Conservatives, Liberals, Progressives, Democrats, Republicans everyone is realizing the cost of incarceration and the benefits of rehabilitation,” Waite said.
 
According to Waite, taxpayers can spend $20,000 to $50,000 annually to put a person in prison and there’s little funding for post-prison programs.
 
“These programs just help people acclimate to life on the outside,” Waite said. “If you’ve been in a few years or 20 years it’s a very very different world.”
 
Waite is biking across the south to Florida and then up the east coast.  She’s aiming to be in Baltimore by early June.  She said braving the weather, traffic and dangerous road conditions will show the public that it’s possible to overcome obstacles, and that felons are still people.
 
She said she’ll be traveling most of the journey solo, but a few riders will join her later on. After her journey, she said she wants to make a directory of all the prison reform programs in every state.
 
“I think the discussion is here now, and yes I’m in my 60’s but I’m happy it’s finally here and I don’t feel so alone,” Waite said.
 
To learn more about Waite’s cause click here

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