About Thresholds

Thresholds of Connecticut is a volunteer organization that teaches a 5 step decision making process to interested inmates of Connecticut correctional facilities. The program was developed by Milton “Mickey” Burglass who at one time was an inmate of Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was incarcerated in 1965, at the age of twenty-four on a charge involving financial manipulation.

While in prison, Burglass was involved in the literacy program and observed that on average it took much longer for an inmate to learn to read than it did for the general population. Testing showed that the inmates had trouble solving problems and making decisions. When training in decision making was included along with the reading lessons, the inmates learned to read in a shorter time than the general population.

After being released, Burglass continued his education and developed the Thresholds program as part of his graduate studies at Harvard University. He now holds degrees in public health, theology, psychology, and medicine.

In the early 1970’s, Burglass founded Correctional Solutions, Inc., a non-profit consulting firm in corrections and education, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He and Mary Grace Duffy published the original Thresholds Teacher’s Manual in 1974. Burglass first taught Thresholds in the Bucks County Prison in Pennsylvania. He also held teacher training sessions in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania. Thresholds quickly spread to other states along the east coast with the help of federal grants and the sponsorship of local charitable organizations.

Thresholds serves as a direct response to the need for expanded citizen involvement in prisons. All thresholds chapters are autonomous: staffed, supervised, funded and administered at the local level. Chapters in Pennsylvania and Delaware are affiliated with Mid-Atlantic Thresholds. Northeast Thresholds encompasses the New England states and New York. There are also chapters in Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida, and Illinois.