From Handcuffs to Cufflinks

AFTER spending 12 years in the Massachusetts prison system, Surpaul Cottrell, also known by his nickname “Beast,” emerged with a burning passion to make a difference. Armed with the wisdom gleaned from a dozen years of incarceration and a deep-seated understanding of the struggles that former inmates face upon re-entry into society, Cottrell is on a mission to transform the lives of those who have walked in his shoes.

I am Surpaul Cottrell. This is my story.

My journey from “Handcuffs to Cufflinks” is more than just a personal transformation; it is the name and ethos of my non-profit organization, Handcuffs 2 Cufflinks Inc. The mission of this groundbreaking initiative is to facilitate a smoother transition for ex-offenders by harnessing the power of art.


While behind bars, I penned over 15 books, a testament to my creative spirit and intellectual rigor. However, upon release, I faced the harsh reality of reintegration with little more than my literary accomplishments and $300 to my name. This experience ignited a fervent desire to help other talented individuals in similar positions bring their art to life without the crippling burden of financial insecurity.

“Re-entry is more than just a physical return to society,” I often reflect and tell people. “It’s about rebuilding lives, restoring dignity, and finding purpose. Art is a powerful medium for expression and healing, and it can also be a path to financial independence.”


It is dedicated to providing ex-offenders with the resources and support they need to thrive creatively and economically. Through workshops, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities, my organization aims to bridge the gap between incarceration and meaningful societal participation.

Art can change lives. It changed mine, and I believe it can do the same for others. We are here to provide that platform and make sure that no one has to struggle alone.


My approach to re-entry is holistic, focusing not only on the immediate needs of ex-offenders but also on their long-term success. By creating an environment where former inmates can hone their artistic skills and gain financial independence, Handcuffs 2 Cufflinks Inc. is setting a new standard for re-entry programs.

Our goal is to turn former inmates into thriving artists and entrepreneurs. We want to see them move from a place of survival to a place of prosperity.


My work is a testament to the transformative power of passion and resilience. My journey from the confines of a prison cell to the leadership of a pioneering non-profit is an inspiration to all who face seemingly insurmountable odds.

Handcuffs 2 Cufflinks Inc. is more than just an organization; it is a movement. It symbolizes the potential for redemption and the limitless possibilities that arise when one person decides to make a difference. Through his tireless efforts, Cottrell is proving that the path from “Handcuffs to Cufflinks” is not only possible but profoundly impactful.

For more information about Handcuffs 2 Cufflinks Inc. and how you can support this vital mission, visit

Together, we can help unlock the potential within every returning citizen and ensure that art and opportunity are accessible to all.

Pay attention to Cottrell’s next book about to drop sometime summer 2024 called, 5 Years Out: A Journey of Patience, Taking Risks, and Life Beyond Bars. The preorder is now available at

Please also follow Surpaul “ImmahBeastWitIt” Cottrell on Instagram @cottrell_vision x @surpaulcottrell