Prisoners who have finished their sentences often find it difficult to re-establish themselves in the community. The object of this program is for churches to provide support for one prisoner at a time with re-entry. 96% of all incarcerated prisoners re-enter society. Supporting them in their efforts can help them be successful and avoid the situations that contributed to their incarceration, and helping them helps our communities.
How it works:
A soon-to-be-released prisoner will be identified as someone who is motivated and eager for successful re-entry. This person will work with a mentor who will assess his or her needs, assist in finding and using resources, helping with practical issues like job-hunting and learning to handle finances, and both explaining and enforcing expected behavior. This mentor will report to the church as to the prisoner’s progress and overseeing of all expenditures.
The needs of each person will vary, but those will general include: housing, clothing, phone, transportation, food, obtaining a driver’s license or state ID, cash for security deposits and some daily expenses, and – perhaps most importantly – support for a caring community. On average, the Program support from the church would last about six months.
Funding is vital, of course. Each participating church must be willing to make a minimal financial commitment for a six-month period. At a minimum, $300-$500 needs to be available for the support of each “adoptee.” This money would go toward bus passes, phones, and other necessary expenses. As the “adoptee” finds work and develops a new routine the financial needs will lessen.
I am uniquely qualified to organize and direct this program. I was once the definition of “successful,” with a family, respected legal practice, profitable business, and high standing in my community. I lost it all to cocaine. The end of that “career” found me in prison. As I continue my re-entry into society, I am dedicating myself to helping others restart their lives, and to reforming the criminal justice system.
My goal is to have every church in Delaware participate in this program. The impact on the individual lives and on our community as a whole can be enormous and positive. Please contact me at 302-423-4067 to schedule a meeting with the appropriate church committee. I welcome all questions.