Helping Female Inmates Discover and Live Their Awesomeness


Most of us would probably agree that incarceration is the third-rail of personal branding. Being arrested, convicted and sentenced can be devastating to a professional endeavor and toxic to a personal dream. But it doesn’t have to be life-defining.  I recently began working with inmates at MCI Framingham, a Massachusetts-based medium-security correctional facility for female offenders. My company, MDK Brand Management, is helping the incarcerated women develop a defined and confident personal brand that can help them overcome their challenges and achieve their personal and professional goals upon reentering society.

My customized “Define Your Brand. Own Your Future” program includes several interactive workshops that are designed to help the women understand their current brand, define their future brand and begin the process of rebuilding lost trust and establishing supportive networks. Although I had been facilitating the personal branding program for the men and women incarcerated at the Suffolk County (MA) House of Correction for the past three years, this is the first time MCI Framingham is offering this type of program. I am grateful to Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian and the MCI Framingham team for recognizing the importance of encouraging and educating those whose journey toward awesomeness has been interrupted but, with determination, focus and a belief in themselves and their ability to be rehabilitated, has not ended.

(Denise Kaigler is the founder and principal of MDK Brand Management, LLC and the author of Forty Dollars and a Brand: How to Overcome Challenges, Defy the Odds and Live Your Awesomeness)