WEEK ONE IN THE BOOKS
When people think of diversionary programs in the justice system it can be seen as a way for the individual to get out from under the full weight of the consequences of their crime. The thing is the system as we know it leans towards a punitive approach that often increases the future harm to the communities in which we live. No one is doing this intentionally but instead, it happens due to the lack of alternatives to incarceration. When someone is
struggling with a criminal lifestyle, we as a society cannot overlook it because the outcome will not change.
For low-level crimes or supervision missteps we need to rethink incarceration because all statistics show that by the fifth day, let me repeat that, by the fifth day of incarceration the individual and even more so, the family feels the negative impacts. It can be due to financial problems because the primary financial provider is no longer in the home. Children are starting to experience what it is like to be in a one-parent home. The trauma that is bred within incarcerated settings is starting to take effect. Mental health is becoming unbalanced in a fear-driven environment.
While incarcerated, the need to increase your criminal behavior to keep from being a victim is real. The connection to the family is decreasing due to high costs to make phone calls and the business of life is making it continually more difficult to visit your incarcerated loved one. The continual violence in the jail and prison cells are starting to become just a part of life in their mind. Once incarcerated all the issues that led to the behavior are ignored due to
the need to survive. The individual does not have the ability to see a version of themselves living a different life upon release because they are so focused on surviving today. They start to believe the myth that release leads to happiness, but when the day comes, and those doors are opened there they are... and they still have issues that have went unaddressed.
Also, the incarcerated individual has added to the list of struggles they have to deal with on a daily basis. The individual is now more likely than ever to commit a future crime and continue this cycle of life.
Returning Home is excited to provide
alternative programming to Washington
County in the form of the Community
Alternative Program. Our staff looks forward
to investing in these men to bring about the
change they and our community seek in
In week one of the Community Alternative Program our first client has obtained his I.D. and Birth certificate. As well as started the process of family reunification. It is a real blessing to work with families willing to create healthy boundaries to help their loved ones thrive!
Here is an update on the Aftercare Facility and the development of the Returning Home Campus. We received an estimate last year of 2 million dollars for the project. Reality set in when we received our detailed cost breakdown for this project last week. The quote was over 3 million dollars. We expected an increase due to the high cost of construction this year, but this was hard to hear. We are going back to the drawing board to find a more cost-
effective way to provide an aftercare program for our graduates of CAP and the current Reentry Program. To date we have raised $105,000 from some amazingly generous donors. We will continue to press on while making sure to be good stewards of all the resources we are given.