Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

28May/150

Paid the Crime But Still Doing the Time: Challenges and Possibilities for Returning Citizens After Serving Time in Jail/Prison

Individuals returning to the community after serving jail and prison sentences are faced with a lifetime of stigma and discrimination, even after paying the 'debt' decided upon by a judge and/or jury. When returning, individuals should be able to do so with the full rights of any other citizen.  Doing otherwise is an injustice, and even undermines the well-being of the larger community and society.

Originally aired on Howard University Television (WHUT),  May 26, 2015.

If you ask most people what comes to mine when they hear the term criminal justice system, they say things like the police force and crime control or sentencing and the parole system. But for the returning citizen, those who have served their time and are eager to rejoin society-at-large it means much more. It means dealing with the challenges of education, facing housing and employment discrimination,and addressing healthcare issues, with the statistical cloud of recidivism hanging over their heads.

25Jun/140

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Exodus Transitional Community, New York, NY

Organizations are doing the work.  Here is one...

UNDER CONSTRUCTION is a multimedia online exhibit showcasing some of the best and brightest organizations working with boys and men of color. The UC team of filmmakers, photographers, writers, and nonprofit experts worked directly with each of these organizations for several weeks. The collaborations yielded comprehensive portraits of the services men of color receive. Each profile features a short video, a photography exhibit, a visual program model, and a narrative essay detailing the efforts of these organizations.

Exodus Transitional Community is the fourth in the series to be featured.

Each year, hundreds of men return from incarceration looking to re-integrate into a small pocket of upper Manhattan. Some even have started calling the neighborhood The Reentry Corridor. One organization, Exodus Transitional Community, is dedicated to breaking the cycle of high recidivism here and has dramatically cut down the numbers of men in the community returning to prison.

The program has won the respect of re-entry service providers and even the president of the United States. The Exodus approach is grounded in faith and practical instruction and thrives on the close relationships between participants and staff, many of whom know firsthand the struggles of ex-offenders looking for a second chance.

Exodus Transitional Community's website: http://www.etcny.org/