People come home from prison every day full of hope for a new beginning. But with no one to lend a helping hand during the tricky transition to civil society, it’s easy for them to lose their way – especially, when faced with the practical needs for food, clothing and shelter and when confronted with the tough realities of a generally unforgiving society.
Without positive support, even the simplest responsibilities – like making it to a job interview on time – become opportunities for failure for former offenders. And as one failure sets the stage for another, it can be hard for even those with the best intentions to keep from returning to the world of crime and corrections.
Work Readiness Training (40-200 hours plus homework)
All candidates participate in a 40-hour core module that includes a three-day group intervention to improve relationship skills (Community Building), an introduction to a therapeutic method for increasing acceptance and commitment (ACT), and a work-readiness primer designed for convicted felons. Those who complete the core module are given a mobile phone to assist with job acquisition, case management, and peer specialist support.
Track 1 (Low):
Upon completing the core module and passing a drug screen, participants with low needs are eligible for OSHA training at Chattanooga State Technical Community College, remunerative work training through Chattanooga Endeavor’s alternative staffing venture, and a variety of career development opportunities.
Track 2 (Moderate)
To progress to the equivalent of Track 1, participants with moderate needs must achieve all immediate case management goals, complete additional Community Building and ACT training, and take part in peer support group activities. An introduction to the internet is provided to those who lack basic computer literacy and relapse prevention training (SMART Recovery) is provided to those with histories of substance abuse.
Track 3 (High)
Those with high needs participate in Track 2 while completing additional training to increase empathy (Restorative Justice) and intensified case management with more frequent peer specialist contact. Because it can take several months to address case management goals for those with high needs, participants in Track 3 are eligible for remunerative training on supervised crews where they receive rigorous feedback on their workplace habits and job performance.
Track 4 (Extremely High)
Those with extremely high needs because of unaddressed issues related to homelessness, mental health, substance abuse, ongoing criminal activity, etc. work with a case manager and peer specialist to create sufficient stability to complete the core module and begin other programming. All participants receive individual case management and peer specialist support for up to nine years.Note: Except for Stephen’s Table which is operational, the elements of our reentry model listed here are awaiting funding to be fully implemented. To help out or to learn more, please reach out to us at .