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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221188 Find in a Library
Title: "Ask and You Will Receive": Creating Faith-Based Programs for Former Inmates
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:69  Issue:6  Dated:December 2007  Pages:78,79,82
Author(s): John D'Amico
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 3
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes how the New Jersey State Parole Board has drawn on the resources of faith-based institutions in expanding the resources available for released offenders as they reenter their communities.
Abstract: In 2004, the New Jersey State Parole Board created a Community Partnership Unit (CPU), with the assigned mission to forge alliances with various community groups, religious and faith-based entities, and volunteers, who will assist parolees in the reentry process. The CPU and various educational institutions, churches, and local businesses cosponsored community partnership conferences throughout the State. During an introductory plenary session, the impact of reoffending on the host community was described, and the problems and challenges of reentry were explained. The attendees then participated in workshops that focused on critical inmate reentry issues such as homelessness, education, employment, physical and mental illness, addiction, gang reduction, faith-based partnerships, and family restoration. At the end of the workshops, participants were asked to join local task forces in order to develop local solutions to the problems discussed. A member of the CPU was then assigned to each task force to provide technical assistance. The most successful initiative that has emerged from these faith-based task forces has been an interdenominational Christian outreach and restoration ministry called The Most Excellent Way. It provides group counseling on alternatives to chemical dependency, with an emphasis on the redemptive power of faith. The program encourages self-examination, mental renewal, and spiritual transformation based on the ministry's 10 Attitudes of Victorious Living. Over the past 3 years, the community outreach efforts of the CPU have secured more than 800 jobs for parolees and have produced services, financial assistance, and donations worth more than $7 million at no cost to taxpayers. 8 notes
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Faith-Based; Faith-Based Crime Prevention Programs; New Jersey; Parole; Parole board; Private sector civic involvement; Private sector-government cooperation; Recidivism causes; Reentry; Religion
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