Through workshops, community meetings, and public education, Tyrone Werts will develop and promote the leadership of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men in addressing the problem of crime and violence in their communities.
In 2011, Werts was released from Pennsylvania’s maximum security Graterford Correctional Institution after his life-without-parole sentence was commuted by former Governor Ed Rendell, after 36 years. Werts, who holds a BA from Villanova University, served as president of the Graterford “lifers” organization for over two decades, a tenure that saw the expansion of the organization’s mission to include community service activities and advocacy on issues related to the rights of the incarcerated. Werts is a founding member of the Inside/Out Prison Exchange Program Think Tank, a partnership between Graterford and Temple University. He has testified before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Judiciary Committee regarding parole eligibility for lifers as well as on prison overcrowding before the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Werts is founder and president of The Lifers Public Safety Initiative and sits on the Mayor’s Commission on African American Males.