Walter Fortson is an expert in the field of criminal justice with a focus on mass incarceration. He frequently speaks at conferences, on panels, and other events discussing policy initiatives, visions of overhaul, and reform of the nation’s
prison system. In 2014, graduated of the University of Cambridge, receiving his Master of Philosophy in Criminology. He currently works in New Jersey with the Petey Greene Program as the manager of special projects. The Petey Greene Program aims to be the largest volunteer program behind bars in the country that offers in-class high-quality tutoring and resources for all incarcerated
students working toward their GED or high school diploma.
In 2009, Fortson was admitted to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, by way of a special program after serving 2 years in prison. In June of 2013, he completed his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology with minors in Biology and Psychology – graduating magna cum laude. During his time at Rutgers, Fortson co-founded an advocacy group called The
Rutgers University Mountainview Project Student Organization. Through partnership with the Petey Greene Program, the student organization took Rutgers’ undergraduate students into New Jersey prisons to serve as tutors. In addition, the group served the Rutgers and New Brunswick communities through various forms of service, and held events to raise awareness concerning the need to support, assist, and provide education as a means of self-empowerment for individuals who face systemic barriers when returning to mainstream.
In 2012, Fortson was the recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship – a national award that recognizes the country’s student-leaders in public service. In 2013, he worked as a research associate with the Justice Policy Institute in Washington DC, evaluating alternatives to parole revocations in Maryland. Fortson is a member of the Child’s Memorial Baptist Church in North Philadelphia where he served on the Gate Keeper’s Security Ministry. Today, he spends most of his time reading, writing, teaching and working with organizations whose aim is to use education as a tool for liberation and self-actualization for individuals both currently and formerly incarcerated and other oppressed people.