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This Radio Program is available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/audio/?p=6

This Television Program is available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/video/?p=7

[Video Begins]

Paul Quander: Hello, I”m Paul Quander, the director of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency. I”m very pleased to invite you to watch the following presentation on our faith-based offender reentry initiative.

Female 1: When offenders come back from prison they face very real and pressing problems. Where are they going to live?

Male 1: I realize that it is difficult and stressful going back home living with your parents and being grown.

Female 1: How will they find a job?

Male 2: Just for the record, I need a job.

Female 1: How can they strengthen the family ties that were damaged during years in prison? Most importantly, where do they find the strength to build a new life free of old habits and old behaviors?

Male 3: What I”m trying to say, to help someone come home, they have to find network, they have to find some place where they can feel loved and feel safe.

Female 1: Our strategy is to bring community supervision directly to the streets where offenders live and work. We believe it will help us achieve of reducing recidivism and making our city a safer place. But we”ve known from the beginning that we can’t do it alone. Our city”s faith institutions are the major source of positive influences. Through this contact offenders build productive relationships, they develop the strength and determination they need to believe they can change.

Male 5: By dividing the city geographically and by then overlaying where we know the offenders are going to be coming and overlaying over that faith-based institutions, we then are able to look at your resources, your capabilities, the needs of the offender and the offenders” families, and the community.

Female 1: And they gain access to services such as job training, education, and counseling that augment the programs we offer.
Male 6: In talking to some of you and many others within the faith community, it became apparent to us that many institutions have through their respective ministries an array of services that they offer-have been offering for some time. We found clothing ministries, we found career development programs, we have found substance abuse counseling programs, we found family reunification programs, and it”s clear to us that all of those services can be a benefit to the individuals that we work with.

Female 1: We have made a commitment to bringing offenders back to greater opportunity than they left. The members of our faith community partnership have worked hard to make that vision a reality. In one year we have grown from a promising idea, to a program that offers fellowship and opportunity to returning offenders. CSOSA and its faith partners have collaborated to make this initiative work through ongoing and mentor and staff training.

Male 7: Restorative transformation and freedom-our ultimate goal at the end of the day is to be able to understand the science of helping our clients realize freedom in their lives. And a part of that realization will be one of restorative transformation.

Female 1: We have tapped into existing services and resources that the faith community has traditionally offered to those in need. Yet it is the responsibility of returning offenders to make a sincere commitment to rebuilding their lives with positive change.

Male 8: When I was incarcerated all my life and I just come and try to find-trying to do the best I can and try me something better to do as far as a job. Get myself together and hope I never turn that way again.

Male 9: Praise God.

Female 1: With the support and guidance of a mentor and the inclusive spirit of their faith family, we believe that freedom truly becomes a way of life.

Male 10: When I started dealing with the mentorship process I began to understand the concept or some of the concepts of restorative justice. Because what happens is it”s like this is a healing process, that”s one of the main elements of it, it”s a healing process for the victim, it”s a healing process for the community, and it”s a healing process for the offender.

Female 1: We hope this presentation gives you a sense of how valuable and exciting this initiative has been and will continue to be.

Paul Quander: ,of one of the areas that the president can identify that he”s very passionate about and wants to see us working on is prison reentry. It”s something that the president has been involved in both here since he became president, and also in-depth while he was governor in Texas. It”s something that he sees the potential there and the real need to deliver services to folks who are trying to reenter into society-both for society”s good and for their good.

Female 1: Now that you have seen what we are doing, we know you will want to join us in this important work.

Male 11: And to the men and women who were being discharged, we also issue a charge, and it is that we stand here willing to facilitate your transformation, but it is certainly still up to you to assume your rightful role in the community as the men, women, the children, the uncles and aunts that we need to make our community whole in one part.

[Video Ends]

Information about crime, criminal offenders and the criminal justice system.

Meta terms: crime, criminals, criminal justice, parole, probation, prison, drug treatment, reentry, sex offenders.

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