COMMUNITY RE-ENTRY PROGRAM
Components of the Initiative
- In-Prison Program—Protect and Develop
- Pre-Release Program—Prepare and Inoculate
- Post-Release Program—Empower and Support
- Long-Term Support Services—Strengthen and Sustain
- Community Re-Entry Initiative (CRI) will develop an assessment instrument that will be used as an in-take form when an inmate enters the prison system.
- The CRI will provide training for Muslim chaplains or volunteers is using the form and conducting an assessment of inmates.
- The Muslim chaplain or volunteer worker will conduct an assessment of each inmate that enters the prison system.
- Muslim Inmate Education. CRI will facilitate the development of various curricula that will “provide theoretical, practical and contextual learning in a living a purposeful and a functional life as a Muslim in and outside prison. A short program, such as the Mukhtar Nine, will serve as an introduction for new Muslim inmates. A long program will cover the breadth of Islamic knowledge. This program will endeavor to convey to inmates correct, balanced Islamic knowledge and instill the Islamic characteristics and life skills essential for successfully re-integrating into society.
- Muslim chaplains and Muslim volunteers will be trained in teaching the curriculum.
- A pre-release assessment instrument will be developed by CRI.
- The Muslim chaplain or volunteer worker will conduct the pre-release assessment. As part of the assessment, information from the correctional system’s pre-release program will obtained about the inmate.
- A pre-release curriculum will be developed by CRI. A booklet and video will be prepared by CRI to give inmates as part of the pre-release program. The booklet will give inmates guidance on how to be a success when they leave the prison. The Muslim chaplain or volunteer worker will discuss the booklet with each inmate who is expected to leave the prison.
- Inmates will develop a “success plan” (falah plan) for re-integrating into society and discuss the plan with the Muslim chaplain or volunteer. The plan is to detail individualized strategies for addressing the key features of the structured reentry process that will fulfill the needs of those returning from prison.
- The local Muslim community (Community Re-Entry Committee) will meet with soon-to-be-released inmates to provide information about the locale to which they will be released, including the local SHARE Center and masjids, and to discuss the inmate’s “success plan.”
- The facilitator/case worker at the local SHARE Center (Services for Human Advancement and Resource Enhancement), which will serve as the single point of entry, will meet with each ex-offender to do the following:
Review and access the ex-offender’s success plan in order to provide guidance and assistance in implementing the plan and ensuring that progress is made. This initial de-briefing will include criminal background check, assessments of economic viability, skill development, housing, addiction, family status, history of substance abuse, domestic violence, anger management, etc.
Based on this assessment an “expectation chart” will be developed by the facilitator and the inmate.
Give to the ex-offender a welcoming packet, which will include money, Islamic literature, bus passes, clothes, toiletries, etc.
Provide information about re-establishing the ex-offender’s driver’s license, etc.
Offer referrals for services that the ex-offender might need. Referrals might be made for jobs, housing, substance abuse programs, mental health providers, education, counseling, family reunification
- The facilitator/case worker will meet with the ex-offender on a regular basis through the first six months of his/her return to review progress.
- A mentor (wali) will be assigned to the ex-offender. The mentor will provide guidance, support and friendship. Ideally mentors should be ex-offenders. The mentor and ex-offender will meet for one year from the date of release
- Ex-Offenders will become a member of a support group of ex-offenders. In small communities where there are few ex-offenders, the mentor will work with the ex-offender.
- A “Welcome Home” celebration will be organized by the local Community Re-Entry committee.
- Ex-offenders will join a support group that will meet on a regular basis.
- A “One-Year Clean” celebration will be organized local Community Re-Entry committee.
LONG-TERM SUPPORT SERVICES
- After the first year of release, ex-offenders will meet with mentors and facilitators on a quarterly basis through the second and third year of release.
- After the first year of release, ex-offenders will be encouraged to become mentors of other ex-offenders.
- A third year celebration of staying clean will be organized by the Community Re-Entry committee.
- Write the assessment forms for intake and pre-release.
- Appoint a committee to write the in-prison curriculum and material. The main writer(s) should be paid and given the ability to work full time on developing the material.
- Conduct training programs to instruct Muslim chaplains and volunteers in using the assessment forms and teaching the in-prison curriculum.
- Establish in at least 10 cities the Community Re-Entry Program by establishing a SHARE Center, which will be the prime vehicle for overseeing the implementation of MANA initiatives, including the Community Re-Entry Initiative. See the attached description of the SHARE Center. If a local organization similar to a SHARE Center already exists, the CRI will seek to have that organization be the vehicle for implementing the CRI program.
- Organize a Community Re-Entry Committee within the SHARE Center or the allied organization which will have the task of implementing the Community Re-Entry Initiative. This committee, therefore, will be a working committee. After some time, a Director of the Community Re-Entry Initiative should be hired by the SHARE Center or allied organization and this person will serve as Chair of the Committee.
- The first major expenditure of money should be on hiring an Executive Director of the SHARE Center. In the beginning this position might be part-time. The Executive Director will serve as the facilitator/resource counselor (case worker) in the early stages of the project.
- Organize a number of mentors and appoint one to serve as coordinator of the mentors. Conduct training for mentors.
- Organize a support group for ex-offenders.
- MANA will hire a Director of Projects who will serve as the Director of the Community Re-Entry Initiative. The MANA Director will work to establish and maintain local SHARE Centers. The Director will assist in fund raising and training for local SHARE Centers.
Or think ye that ye shall be abandoned, as though Allah did not know those among you who strive with might and main, and take none for friends and protectors except Allah, His Messenger, and the (community of) Believers? But Allah is well- acquainted with (all) that ye do.