- AmeriCorps*VISTA and Prisoner Reentry Full description |
This course is designed to assist private, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations as well as federal, state, and local agencies in applying to sponsor AmeriCorps*VISTA members. Members will serve in community projects focused on prisoner reentry: the process of transitioning from prison back into the community. This course is comprehensive, covering everything from the AmeriCorps*VISTA application process, to the three phases of prisoner reentry, to the development or expansion of a local prisoner reentry initiative. It also highlights examples of prisoner reentry program activities and describes how AmeriCorps*VISTA members can contribute to them. With 650,000 people released from U.S. prisons each year and approximately two out of three rearrested within three years, reentry is a challenging process for ex-offenders and communities alike. This course was created through the cooperation of Corporation for National and Community Service, ETR Associates and the National Crime Prevention Council.
Voting Rights to be restored for ex convicts (thank you Feingold and Conyers)
and quote from story at right side of webpage "Abdullah Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam’s National Prison Ministry, offered a simple solution. “Give the Nation of Islam three years unhindered to teach the life-giving teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in the country’s prisons. We have a complete program to have our people totally freed to build a reality for ourselves,” he said."
Recruiting VISTA Members for Reentry: this video discusses important topics on recruiting VISTAs, utilizing them to set up and administer reentry programs, and how VISTAs can recruit and manage additional volunteers. Recorded by the National Crime Prevention Council. 49 minutes.
Are you an ex-con? Need dough? The American taxpayer is only too happy to help:
It has been estimated that approximately 1,600 individuals are released from prisons daily, and nearly two-thirds of all released prisoners will be re-arrested within three years. Fostering an individual's transition from prison life to mainstream society can be challenging, especially when working with young offenders. However, recent study has shown that intervention that is supported through post-release supervision is most effective at reducing recidivism. (more here)
A few stimulus grants that include law enforcement grants -- and all of these include funding for ex-offender reentry programs.
From the Urban Institute-Faith based mentors and prisoner re-entry--point made regarding Nation of Islam mentorship in prisoner re-entry---and subsequently funded and endorsed by said AMERICORPS: (here)
"To be certain, religious institutions have long run prison ministries. Christian churches, following the suggestion of the Gospel to visit those incarcerated, have offered direct spiritual counsel to prisoners. Islam, of orthodox (especially Sunnite) and heterodox (Nation of Islam, Five Percenters) traditions alike, has established a considerable presence in penal institutions as well, especially since the best-selling Autobiography of Malcolm X presented that figure's compelling Muslim theodicy. Most recently, Buddhists have begun ministries behind bars as well, teaching the discipline of unflinching equanimity through meditation."
News article about NOI and reform -- stepping it up
"The Chicago-based group has had strong ties with prisons and inmates since its founding in the 1930s. It seeks to transform jailed blacks with a strict moral code and the teachings of its leaders, including Louis Farrakhan."
"Reform long has been a theme for the Chicago-based movement known for espousing black nationalism, and its prison ministry for adults remains a cornerstone. But in recent months, the group's leaders have increased attention on teenagers, particularly after a high-profile beating death of a high school honors student on the South Side last year. "
"Later this year, the Nation of Islam will partner with several groups to start a mentoring program for teenagers leaving juvenile detention centers. The Association of Black Psychologists said it will help."
See this extremely informative piece on jailhouse Islam.
Check out the JOBS BILL FOR EX-CONVICTS to provide a 40-hour work week -- if you are going to have government sponsored 40-hour work weeks, why not have them for law-abiding citizens?
"Last week, Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) introduced the Inmate Work, Education, and Responsibility Curriculum Act (I-WERC), HR 4458, which would provide grants to state and local corrections facilities to create a 40-hour work week for prisoners to pursue responsible activities. The program would require corrections facilities to conduct an individualized assessment of a prisoner’s education, skills, and history. Based on that assessment, corrections facilities would develop a self-improvement curriculum for each participant consisting of activities critical for reentry, such as education, counseling, substance use treatment, anger management, and skills and job training."
Soros: Ready4work Initiative for re-entry of convicts to society -- this is a combo of government and privately funded groups, with some of the funding from Soros-funded Open Society Institute.
UPDATE: U.S. judges seek massive California prisoner release