Lorenzo Steele Jr. has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice, an accomplished visual artist, author and a former New York City Corrections officer that has served 12 years in the nation's most violent adolescent detention center (RNDC) located on NYC's Rikers Island.
Throughout his employment with DOC Mr. Steele captured some of the most captivating and horrid images ever taken behind prison walls. After leaving the department Mr. Steele took with him experience and knowledge about prison life that he now shares with the youth, parents, as well as educators in an attempt to deter violence and incarceration. He's also excelled in the art of photography, which he strategically uses to lay a credible platform for the effective edification of young adults.
By starting a youth development program in 2001, Lorenzo provides workshops, training and consultation in school districts throughout NYC. Mr. Steele targets trouble youth who are in need of awareness about the criminal justice system and its harsh realities. Exclusive experience and visual effect has allowed Mr. Steele to work as a New York City Board of Education vendor where he assists schools with conflict resolution, bullying and literacy training workshops. The program was designed to reduce incidents and to induce consequential thinking.
Lorenzo has worked with District Attorneys offices in Brooklyn/ Queens and Nassau Long Island providing gang and prison awareness to at-risk youth in schools and communities. With such an analysis of the prison system and images depicting life on the inside, colleges such as Columbia University, John Jay College, and New Rochelle College have allowed him to present at their institutions for the edification of scholars, alumni, and faculty for the purpose of gaining an in-depth analysis of the criminal justice system and those individuals most likely to end up on it's punitive side.
Lorenzo has appeared on television
networks such as WABC’s “Like It Is” and recently on CNN discussing Rikers
Island solitary confinement units.
Mr. Steele has serviced numerous agencies such as the National Association of Mental Illness NAMI, Administration for Children's Services (ACS), United Federation of Teachers (UFT) as well as Nassau/Suffolk (BOCES) school systems. In addition Lorenzo has received numerous awards from the Congressional Senate, and State Assemblyman for his commitment to community service and dedication to children. Lorenzo Steele Jr. continues to use the power of storytelling through the arts to change the decision-making process of thousands of youth that were heading down the wrong path in life.