Encouraging and Supporting on the Outside
Many former inmates re-offend and return to jail after their release because they lack informal and formal support systems needed to help them reintegrate back into their communities. The HOPE Aftercare Program is an interfaith pre- and post-release adult reintegration program for inmates and ex-offenders that seeks to ensure their successful return to the community. HOPE Aftercare provides information resources, referrals, and guidance regarding employment, housing, education, food assistance, mental health services, and clothing.
The program’s mentoring component matches inmates and ex-offenders with mentors who can assist them on a one-on-one basis. Mentors maintain professional relationships with their mentees by visiting them in jail at least three times a month and maintaining the match for at least a year. Upon release, mentors and mentees are expected to meet weekly. Continuing education classes on topics, such as eco-maps, criminal and addictive thinking patterns, and healthy boundaries, provide mentors with the tools necessary to maximize their effectiveness. On the outside, our weekly support groups provide a forum for ex-offenders and their supporters to share resources, network, and address social, intellectual, vocation, spiritual, emotional, environmental, and physical needs.
We believe mentoring is a relational process that helps a mentee identify and utilize God-given gifts and talents. The importance of mentoring is punctuated by reports that 95% of men and over half of women in prison report never having a loving father figure. Mentors are great listeners and patient advisors. You can help lower the recidivism rate by becoming a mentor and play an immeasurably important role in supporting an individual in their journey to become a productive member of society. For 2010-2012, our Aftercare Program achieved and astounding recidivism rate of 9.5%. Yet, we continually strive to evaluate and enhance our programming and services to increase their effectiveness.
Become a Mentor
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A MENTOR?
A mentor is expected to:
- Participate in the orientation and training sessions provided by the HOPE staff;
- Visit a mentee at least three times a month for the next six months, or the length of his/her incarceration, whichever is shorter;
- Correspond regularly with the mentee between visits;Attend at least one Aftercare Mentoring Support Group meeting per month for a year with the mentee; and
- Live an exemplary life before the mentee.
Thanks to the HOPE Aftercare Program, released inmates are equipped to live productive, legitimate, satisfying lifestyles that include:
- Increased faith fellowship;
- Addiction recovery;
- Employment assistance;
- Family reunification;
- Help in managing mental health problems;
- Improved, positive cognitive behavior; and
- Improved interpersonal skills.
How You Can Help
The Foundation of HOPE relies on the support of others like you to help us make a difference. Find out how you can get involved by sharing your gift of time or financial support.