- Showing 10 posts filed under: Region: North America and Caribbean [–], Offender [–], Community [–] [Show all]
Play teaches community about restorative justice
....Theatre on the Beat, an Ontario-based group will put on the play, called Forgiven/Forgotten, in conjunction with the Mennonite Central Committee.
“It is a play that deals with an inmate who is coming out of jail and the community is in turmoil because of it,” said Ryan Siemens, reverend at Grace Mennonite Church. “It asks questions on how can we best deal or integrate an inmate in the healthiest way.”
Siemens is the chair of two restorative justice committees -- Person to Person and Circles of Support and Accountability. Person to Person is a prison visitation program the Mennonite Church has been involved with for 38 years and Circles of Support works with high-risk offenders who have been released back into society.
An Outcome Evaluation of Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability (MnCoSA)
....The use of the COSA model with high-risk sex offenders began in a small Mennonite community in Canada in the early 1990s. Grounded in the tenets of the restorative justice philosophy, the COSA model attempts to help sex offenders successfully reenter http://www.doc.state.mn.us/publications/documents/9-12MnCOSAResearchinBrief.pdfthe community and, thus, increase public safety, by providing them with social support as they try to meet their employment, housing, treatment, and other social needs. Each COSA consists of anywhere between four and six community volunteers, one of whom is a primary volunteer, who meet with the offender on a regular basis. The results from several evaluations of the Canadian COSA model suggest it significantly reduces sex offender recidivism....
Restorative justice for veterans: The San Francisco Sheriff 's Department's Community of Veterans Engaged in Restoration (COVER)
....Veterans represent a rapidly growing segment of the jail population whose characteristics mirror those of the general jail population and include histories of substance abuse, inconsistent work histories and challenges related to maintaining family relationships.
Like most prisoners, they receive few services while incarcerated to address the myriad of health, mental health, and psychosocial issues that contribute to their incarceration and pose challenges upon release. The military discharge status of most justice-involved vets—less than honorable—makes them ineligible for many of the benefits and services offered by the Veterans Administration (VA).
For prisoners, hope and help behind bars and beyond
What has been missing in the panoply of services provided to ex-offenders is grassroots, community involvement. When people are released from prison, they have the promise of often questionable and impermanent housing. Most have no money or the security of employment. Often, they return to environments that were partially responsible for leading them to make poor choices and commit crimes.
Having faced this reality, those involved with our prison congregation have answered Russell’s question posed by Leonard Pitts, “What are we going to do to help him when he gets out?”
A second chance at Curt's Cafe
Curt’s Cafe, 2922 Central St., is an unlikely crossroads for the two: Trieschmann hires at-risk young adults, particularly those with criminal records, providing them with hard-to-find job training and work experience. The non-profit restaurant is one of the only adult ex-offender re-entry programs in a city that focuses most of its re-entry resources on at-risk youths.
Trieschmann said the road to opening the experimental business was far from smooth, with some neighbors concerned about the business drawing former criminals to Central Street. Still, it’s an experiment that restorative justice advocates and even Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said is worth a shot.
The effects of prison visitation on recidivism
Following recent studies in Florida and Canada, this study examines the effects of prison visitation on recidivism among 16,420 offenders released from Minnesota prisons between 2003 and 2007.
2nd Chance Staffing
from the organization's website:
To ex-offenders: We employ motivated men and women that have made concrete changes in their lives. A change to us means having become a law-abiding member of the community who understands there is no replacement for hard work and dedication. If you fit this bill, we are looking for you. We care about your skills, your mindset, and your future -- not your past.
To businesses: At 2nd Chance, we provide top-quality employees for companies of all sizes. Because we have consistently provided loyal, hardworking employees for Fortune 500 companies across the country, we have seen first-hand how well our business model works. Whether you are searching for long-term employees or temp-to-hire positions, 2nd Chance can help!
Huikahi Restorative Circles: Group process for self-directed reentry planning and family healing
....The Huikahi Circle is a facilitated reentry planning group process for individual incarcerated people, their invited supporters, and at least one prison representative.
The incarcerated person determines what they want and the group helps her determine how best to achieve her goals. It can result in better outcomes for people leaving prison or drug treatment programs than case planning and case management where professionals make decisions for others.
Huikahi Restorative Circles: A public health approach for reentry planning
....The Huikahi Restorative Circle is a group process for reentry planning that involves the incarcerated individual, his or her family and friends, and at least one prison representative. The process was developed in 2005 in collaboration with two community-based organizations—the Hawai’i Friends of Civic &Law Related Education and the Community Alliance on Prisons—and the Waiawa Correctional Facility located on the island of O’ahu.
What's next for Minnesota's ex-cons?
What does it really take to keep a person from going back to prison? Let's see. Resources that work, perhaps faith and prayers, a change in peers or environment, and, most important of all, the willingness and commitment of the offender to do what it takes to make that change.
....Given that up to 95 percent of offenders eventually return to society, we need to do better. According to one major study, two-thirds of offenders are arrested again within three years of their release. In Minnesota, up to 36 percent of offenders are sent back to prison for a felony within three years of release, pretty much mirroring the national situation.
....Minnesota's Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP) was devised five years ago and funded three years ago to help cut the recidivism rate.