For good. For ever.®

Institute for Reform and Solutions

Staunton, VA

Amount Requested: $9,500 for Pre-Release Reentry Program at MRRJ for Female Offinders: Restoring, Empowering, Understanding, Nurturing, and Learning (RENUL), and Post-Custody Re-entry  Program: Empowering, Nurturing,  and Understanding Females (ENUF)

Mission: To promote institutional and organizational change by facilitating balanced debate, cost-effective, evidence-based, and restorative programs, as well as strategically-directed action for solutions which improve the systems of justice regionally and throughout the nation. To achieve this mission, the IR&S conducts community forums, and special topics seminars which educate the community, and heightens the awareness of government and private sector partners.

IR&S designs and implements programs and special projects for correctional populations designed to break the inter-generational cycles  of addiction, mental illness, poverty, and criminality.

Constituents Served: All offenders in custody and under community supervision in the Shenandoah Valley, as well as their children. With a special emphasis upon female offenders in the reentry process, the I&S now reaches out to children of incarcerated mothers.  Also, the general public is eligible to attend any of the ongoing community forums posted on the IR&S website. IR&S has served 231 female offenders and 59 children of incarcerated mothers.

Program Overview: RENUL and ENUL are gender responsive interventions, which address the plethora of needs of women incarcerated and released from Middle River Regional Jail (MRRJ). With the focus upon successful, and long term reentry, the foundation of these programs is cognitive behavioral, starting at the first day of incarceration through 36 months post-release. The goal of the joint efforts is to sufficiently prepare female offenders with the life skills, decision-making and  stress-management techniques, and resources to repel former negative lifestyles, in an effort to reduce the cycles of criminality. Each RENUL program applicant is assessed through gender sensitive tools, gleaning risk-needs, preventive- protective factors, allowing for the program facilitators to design a comprehensive “Strategy for Success”, implemented during custody and continued in the ENUF component. Due to the nature and fluidity of jail populations, RENUL offers a dynamic curriculum for entry during any of the 32 modules.

Two facilitators convene with the in-custody, as well as the post release population, for 3 hours/week to focus upon the causal nature of the negative behaviors and identify a “plan for success”, replacing former behavior with healthy and positive lifestyles. Goal setting is fragmented into small components which are achievable, and not overwhelming.

Specifically, the following key elements are integral to both RENUL and ENUF: interpersonal and social skills; breaking the cycle of addiction and criminality; financial stability; parenting and family reunification; stress management; judgement, decision-making, and moral reasoning; education and vocational training; job readiness, resume development, interview skills, self- presentation; identification and avoidance of abusive relationships; accessing affordable and safe housing; fundamentals of independent living; addictions treatmentl; mental health treatment; matching with a community mentor; and accessing other community providers as needs dictate.

Current Operating Budget: $52,000

Program Budget: $16,500

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