In 2010, approximately 10,000 ex-offenders reentered the Corrections System in Maricopa County, Arizona. The majority of those offenders were returned due to technical violations and new crimes. So what does that mean—just a bunch of criminals off the street? That’s not what Father Matters sees! It means families and communities are left once again without responsible, healthy and contributing fathers and mothers.
Research shows that recidivism is reduced by implementing projects like Ready4Work that provides opportunities for offenders to connect with mentors from their community and begin developing plans that will help to anticipate and counter challenges they will face in their reentry into their families and communities. Evidence also shows that when we also focus on working with communities to become an active and productive part of the reentry process, reentry rates back into prison and jail are critically reduced.
Father Matters in partnership with St. Luke’s Health Initiatives received an initial two-year grant award in October 2012, through the US Department of Justice and we are ready to begin a new project in transforming the lives of individuals and communities–The Father Matters Reentry Mentoring Project. Our new project will focus on assisting men, women, their families and communities in building successful relationships and life strategies for successful reintegration back home from their term of incarceration. We hope to build stronger, healthier families and communities by providing understanding support, encouragement, and life skills through mentoring, personal asset identification and sustainable connections with existing community programs and resources dedicated to our project participants’ success.
Our services are based on making connections with adult men and women, who are pregnant or parenting small children in both pre and post release status and who live in or will return to their lives in South Central Phoenix, Maryvale, Laveen and the Gila River Indian Reservation.
We are pleased to announce the hiring of two integral members of our Father Matters team who will be providing services to this project—Ron Hayes, our new Education and Mentor Coordinator and Jessica Beresford, the Project Support Specialist.
Over the next couple of months, we are actively recruiting compassionate, understanding individuals who wish to assist our community by becoming a mentor. All of our mentors will receive comprehensive and ongoing training and support and a chance to really assist in helping to develop successful reentry plans that focus on living a positive, nurturing life. We are also looking for some of our communities’ key stakeholders from law enforcement, the judicial and probationary systems, medical and behavioral health care, social service, education, employment services and faith based organizations who are dedicated to join our Community Awareness and Readiness Collective (CARC). Our CARC will begin meeting in January 2013 and begin to build our target communities’ strategic plan. For more information about our new reentry project, becoming a mentor or joining the CARC, please call us at 602-774-3298 or email us and Help Father Matters rebuild lives of crime, into lives of success.