Category Archives: understanding

To Prison for Poverty

This is happening today ,right now. People are being jailed and forced to pay exorbitant amounts of monies for minor crimes to line the pockets of for profit business.  Alabama ,Georgia, and Florida . Let your congressman/woman  and Governor know that this is not acceptable. New legislation needs to be passed.

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Returning Home- Meet Ms. Ty’Wanda Johnson

Ms. Ty’Wanda Johnson was a participant in the Empowering Choices Jail Program at the Tuscaloosa County Jail in Tuscaloosa Al. She was an attentive student and applied the materials that she learned. She is currently participating in the Empowering Choices Alternative 2 Incarceration Community Program in Tuscaloosa . The program is a 14 week Skills enrichment program aimed to assist ex offenders in making a smooth transition back into the community.

The Beginning of the End of Halfhearted Re-Entry – Prison Path Visitor Information & Inmate Locator- Prison Path

The Beginning of the End of Halfhearted Re-Entry

Non Violent Inmates

During the last six months, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced new policies for prison reform and the reduction of our high recidivism rates. The reforms announced previously focused on the overkill of charging defendants which resulted in long  sentences for nonviolent offenders. On March 24, it was announced that the Federal Bureau of Prisons will order new requirements for the 200 plus federal halfway houses in the United States. Federal halfway houses shall provide appropriate treatment to returning citizens with  mental health and substance abuse issues. For many years, halfway houses were just halfhearted attempts at providing successful re-entry to former inmates. Returning citizens from our federal prisons were placed in halfway houses without access to health care for mental health issues and treatment for addictions. Without such treatment, it was inevitable that a substantial number of those released would become new statistics for our high recidivism rates.

Attorney General Holder stated that, “All halfway houses will have to offer standardized cognitive behavioral programs for federal inmates, and the Bureau of Prisons will set guidelines for the qualifications of instructors as well as the size and length of the classes.”

The federal halfway houses shall also provide transportation in order that former inmates can find jobs. Without transportation, returning citizens faced major obstacles in finding jobs. Many halfway houses are not near any public transportation. The studies have shown that returning citizens who are employed become productive members of society. A gourmet restaurant that employed inmates in Wales had a 12% recidivism rate compared to the national 47% recidivism rate in England.  The inmates were required to have only six- 18 months left on their sentence. The inmates also resolved any problems such as alcohol, drugs, and anger  before being allowed to work at the restaurant.

Another example of a successful state halfway house in the United States— The John R. Hay House located in Kingsport, Tennessee. The Hay House was founded in 1981 to help former inmates re-enter the community as responsible and productive citizens. The Hay House has a ninety percent success rate for its returning citizens. In the past five years, more than 1,700 individuals have entered the Hay House program. Of the 1700, 500 have earned GEDs, 899 completed alcohol and drug education and aftercare programs, and 579 completed  behavioral modification and education programs. Additionally, participants earned $1,333,457; paid $516,175 in child support, criminal injury fees, restitution, fines and court costs; and worked more than 124,000 community service hours worth an estimated $638,000.

Hay House Director, Dr. Chuck Walsh, stated that the Hay House, “Gives them a place to live, get treatment they need, medicine, get a job, pay their fines. It gives them at least a fighting chance.” Hay House costs taxpayers less than one-tenth that of imprisonment and has been recognized as a model program by the Tennessee State Department of Corrections.

The new federal policies for halfway houses are the beginning of wholehearted successful Re-Entry programs for our federal returning citizens.

ReBlogged from Prison Pathway

 

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Attention nonprofits -Beware of mild mannered volunteers with ulterior motives!!!

volunteers

Volunteers are  the life force behind a good nonprofit  outreach  community organization . Woman2Woman Empowerment is no exception. . We are presently seeking volunteers to fill several positions within our organization. As you know all non profits are always seeking volunteers. We always need bodies to help in all areas of the organization. The more hands the merrier is what I use to think. This experience might have changed that mindset for me.

We placed a listing on several sites for  volunteers for our program. Woman2Woman Empowerment  offers the community of Tuscaloosa Alabama  two program that primarily assist incarcerated and formerly incarcerated person  in making a smooth transition back into the community. When we interview individuals we are seeking a certain type of person who is comfortable working with ex-offenders and who believes in 2nd, 3rd and even 4th chances.

Our organization is not one of those that is so hung up on everyone having a title and an elaborate position. We are more interested in assisting our target population in reaching and obtaining their goals. I am the founder and Exec Director and I hardly ever introduce myself as such.   We try very hard to add people to our ranks that feel this way as well. We are not always successful. Sometimes one gets by us-for a minute anyway.

Non profits let me give you a word of warning

If your volunteer says:

  • I am not interested in a position and then sends an email about how easy it will be to create a position for them in your company -This might not be a good match.
  • While you and said volunteer are  at a meeting and before you got there they  told people about you and had to represent the organization ,but they never introduce you to the people they talked you up to at said meeting -This might not be a good match.
  • We need to discuss a some sort of position to compensate for the research, connections and information (1 week’s worth by the way) of work that I have done for the organization since I’ve been here) -This might not be a good match.
  • You would not have known about such and such if I had not told you about it. Even though its public knowledge in a public forum . This might not be a good match
  • If after one week they feel that they are irreplaceable -This definitely is not a good match.

Now don’t get me wrong. The majority of volunteers want to do just that, volunteer with the organization. They are happy to be a part of your service organization.  And to you, oh wonderful  sincere volunteer, I take my hat and coat off to you.  We love and welcome volunteers. Thank you so much for the extra pair of hands and feet and heart that you give to your community. You are not concerned with position or posturing . You are content to serve without a title or a check.

But there are a small constituency of persons who want to take over what you have spent blood sweat and years of tears  to build. They feel they can do a better job or they have better ideas or better ability and skills.  They are not content to just serve or be a leader within the ranks. They want to be CEO or Exec Director or Board Chairperson. They are coming for your position within the company.

get out 1

If you are trying to take over my position while I am still in it then you might need …….

And with all the tact that you can muster ,you have to convey to them that your position is not open at this time.  You have to remind them that the volunteer position they interviewed for is very important to the mission of the organization. And if they insist upon coming after your position with the subtleness of a rhino them you have to suggest to them that maybe ,just maybe this might not be a good match.!

The Road To ReEntry Blog Post 1 – Getting Started

JOB SEARCH SUCCESS

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are on the verge of making a major life change.  Rentering the job market after an absence can be terrifying.  And changing careers can seem impossible.

First let me tell you that you’re not alone.  There are a lot of us out there.  People primed to return to work, yet afraid of the unknown.

Over the past year, I’ve talked to a lot of men and women who are ready to work but not sure how to get back in the game.

I’ve talked to stay-at-home moms wanting to return to work, divorcees who suddenly found themselves fighting to survive, people who have been laid off,  people who have just received their green card and work visa and are not sure where to begin, and people who decided to change professions.

Like all of the people I’ve talked to, you’ve probably got…

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The Road To ReEntry Blog Post 2 – You’ve Done More Than You Think

JOB SEARCH SUCCESS

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso

When I first thought about getting back into the workplace, I felt overwhelmed.  Things had changed so much since I last worked in a company.  There were so many things I didn’t know.   So many people already in the workforce who seemed smarter and younger.

I spent hours spinning my wheels, trying figure out where to begin.  The internet was flooded with articles and books on the topic.  I probably could have spent months sifting through it all only to find myself more lost and overwhelmed than ever – and probably back where I had started.  What I wanted was clear direction.

Then I met someone who changed the way I thought.

A friend introduced me to a career coach who had successfully helped dozens of clients of all ages and backgrounds reenter the workforce.  It was definitely worth…

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The Road To ReEntry Blog 5 – Job Descriptions and Those Pesky Buzzwords

JOB SEARCH SUCCESS

Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible – Francis of Assisi

So you’ve completed your personality tests and set your new priorities.  From there, hopefully you were able to assess the type of job you would not only be suited for but that you would also enjoy.

Now it’s time to get online to see what types of skills you’ll need to get back into the workforce.  That’s where job descriptions come in handy.

Let’s say you’ve done marketing in the past and now you want to look for a marketing job.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to search for marketing jobs in your preferred level (entry level, manager, etc.) and in your geographical area.  For example, type in: marketing jobs entry level san francisco.  Hit search and…

BOOM!  Millions of results.

Yikes.

Don’t panic.  I’d recommend looking at…

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