COVID-19 Community Response Resources for Families – Moving into Summer Months

Newly Released Inmates Have Numerous Practical Needs.
But, Help Is Available from Many Sources.

Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services offers a wealth of resources. Please click the following link to review the complete list of resources it offers, as well as those offered by other local agencies.
Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services

Prison Fellowship International has been involved in prison ministry around the world since 1976. For more information on their work and the resources they offer, visit their website.
Prison Fellowship International

The Allegheny County Jail Collaborative, consisting of DHS, the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ), and the Allegheny County Health Department, was created in 2000 because county leadership observed that not enough was being done for former inmates to support their reentry into the community.
Offender Re-integration Program / Jail Collaborative

Reentry Policy and Practices (PDF)

VOICES: The Prison System / Local Citizens Share First-Hand Experiences with Incarceration

Anne Casper, at WQED, reached out to Foundation of HOPE for assistance in developing a video on the “prison system” for their VOICES series. This incredibly powerful and inspiring video features Rodger Jay (HOPE Aftercare Peer Support Specialist), Elexa Becton (former HOPE Aftercare participant & current Aftercare volunteer), and Taili Thompson (HOPE Board Member).

Coley Davis Talks About Foundation of HOPE’s PIRC Movement (Positive Initiative to Reinforce Change)

The PIRC Movement is for re-entrants, their supporters, and community members to change the community by first changing themselves.

PIRC Motto:
Our thoughts become our words.
Our words become our actions.
Our actions become our habits.
Our habits become our character.
Our character becomes our destiny.

To find a PIRC meeting near you, contact us.

Watch the New HOPE Video

The goals of the program are accomplished through counseling, religious services, discipleship, practical resources and referrals, life skills education within and outside the jail, choice awareness training, and one-on-one mentoring. HOPE serves inmates regardless of their race, age, ethnic background, or faith tradition.

Watch Our Previous HOPE Video

Freedom Rising

The Freedom Rising Grant is being used as a catalyst for change in how youth are interfacing with the juvenile justice system in the city of Pittsburgh, how schools are handling behavior changes, and an effort in breaking the cycle of generational incarceration. The Diversion program addresses Justice and Reconciliation in addition to focusing on one of Freedom Rising’s Core Values: Focusing specifically on ministry to and for African American males without diminishing the well-being of others-particularly other oppressed peoples.

More Videos and Podcasts

How to Apply for Clemency from the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons
Video published on YouTube – Nov 27, 2019

Hope for Inmates (UMTV)
Video published on YouTube – Aug 29, 2011

A United Methodist student is helping farmers in developing countries with a gift that gives back.
Video published on YouTube – Dec 15, 2010


School of Social Work Interns bring hope and help to the Allegheny County Jail through the Foundation of HOPE field placement
In the case of the Foundation of HOPE field placement at the Allegheny County Jail, School of Social Work students fearlessly seized the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of traumatized people.
University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work – September 2021

Foundation of HOPE Helps Inmates Prepare for Life Outside the Correctional System
We spoke with the executive director, Jody Raeford, about the ways the organization helps inmates and former inmates overcome obstacles when returning to life outside the correctional system.
By Hilary Daninhirsch
North Hills Monthly Magazine – 2021

Many arrests are rooted in behavioral health issues. Can this program be an alternative for the Pittsburgh region?
At the Foundation of HOPE, Jody Raeford is looking to ensure community members aren’t arrested for behaviors rooted in unmet behavioral health needs.
by Emma Folts and Rich Lord
Public Source – August 24, 2020

Hand-offs, not handcuffs: National program for nonviolent criminals may soon be coming to Pittsburgh
By Rich Lord
The Foundation of HOPE continues to take the LEAD when it comes to Diversion initiatives: Check out why we believe healthy collaborations lead to healthy communities.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – January 25, 2020

A Foundation of Hope: Pilot Program Boasts Success in Aiding At-risk Juveniles on North Side
By Shelly Bradbury
When 17-year-old Alayah Thompson first stepped into the juvenile probation office after getting in trouble for fighting downtown, she saw a scary-looking probation supervisor and worried she might be going to jail. But instead, the probation supervisor told her she’d been flagged to participate in a H.O.P.E. diversion pilot program.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – July 20, 2019

Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019
By Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner
Can it really be true that most people in jail are being held before trial? And how much of mass incarceration is a result of the war on drugs?
Prison Policy Initiative – March 19, 2019

The Pittsburgh Justice Collaborative Call for Unity and Support (PDF Document)
The Pittsburgh Justice Collaborative, through IBW, has applied for a Pre-Arrest Diversion Micro Grant from the Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) in partnership with the Open Society Foundations to fund viable alternatives to mass criminalization and incarceration as a response to drug use, sex work and other subsistence-driven trade.
Justice Collab News – December 2017

The Forbes Funds: Member Spotlight
The Forbes Funds focuses on strengthening the management capacity and impact of community nonprofits individually and collectively.

You Should Know: Vernetta Byrd
The Allegheny County Jail chaplain has been volunteering there for more than 30 years, helping to restore a sense of normalcy to inmates’ lives.
By Lauren Davidson – Pittsburgh Magazine – September 23, 2016

Let’s Stop Gun Violence and Its Ripple Effects
By Susan Orr – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – June 21, 2016

A Success Story on a Former HOPE Participant.
Renewal, Inc.

Caitlin Werth, Providing HOPE (Article & Podcast)
WESA 90.5  – December 27, 2013

The Power of Presence
By Caitlin Werth – – November 4, 2013

A Newsmaker You Should Know: Minister Finds Her Role in Helping Prisoners
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – September 26, 2013

Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik Washes Feet of Inmates at Allegheny County Jail (Article & Video)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – March 29, 2013

Raising Hope… in Jail, in Hearts – December 2011

Minister Hopes that Helping Others Will Motivate Inmates to Help Themselves
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – October 7, 2010


2015 Foundation of HOPE Annual Report
The year 2015 was a game-changing year for Foundation of HOPE (HOPE). In this year’s annual report, you’ll catch a glimpse of how HOPE has had an impact on so many lives since it was formed by Christian Associates of Southwest PA (CASP) in 2002. HOWEVER, 2015 was a pivotal year for Foundation of HOPE, because, as of January 1, 2015, HOPE and CASP officially became separate entities, HOPE taking on its own identity …
Download the 2015 Annual Report to Read More. (PDF)

Family Bonds – by Jeffery Fraser
Too many released inmates see family and neighborhood as way stations on the round-trip back to jail. But new programs and services are working to turn home into the permanent refuge from recidivism.
Download the Foundation Center Article (PDF)

Allegheny County Jail Collaborative 2013 Annual Report
The Jail Collaborative is a large and broad group of people, all working to improve public safety by building a better system of reentry for people coming out of the Allegheny County. Its members include judges and community leaders, service providers and volunteers, grantmakers and elected officials.
Download the Annual Report (PDF)