The ARCH Accompaniment Program provides:
1) A practical and spiritual orientation session about helping a person who is returning from prison on their journey returning back to the community;
2) Consultation with volunteer to discuss the various accompaniment programs and identify the one that's right for you, and
3) Linkage to a reentry program needing volunteers to assist with mentoring/accompanying.
Note: ARCH volunteers will not be expected to help someone directly with money, housing or jobs. Volunteers will be providing more moral and spiritual support - a listening ear and a safe person. In some cases, those accompanying may help link an individual to service agencies or reentry resources in the community.
If you would like more information or to be linked with one of these accompaniment opportunities, please contact Vanita at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindway Embark is a Christ-centered ministry that supports men and women returning to the Columbus area from Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) and from Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW). The program works with inmates and outside “navigators.” Navigators accompany EMBARK participants on their journey from prison to independence. EMBARK accepts men and women that will be eligible for release or have a parole board hearing within 12-15 months of entry in the program. Candidates are carefully assessed for their readiness to participate in EMBARK and they are put through programs while inside. EMBARK trains and matches mentors from the community with EMBARK participants.
Location: Marion, OH and Columbus, OH
Commitment Period: 2 years
Structure: Monthly group meetings at the prison (ORW for women or MCI for men – both in Marion, OH) for 1 year prior to release. Weekly communication and “touching base” will occur weekly once the individual is released for ongoing emotional support, encouragement and friendship.
Other: Embark has staff that ensure participants have basic needs met, like bus passes, clothes, jobs and housing supports.
Lifebuilders Mentoring Program
Lifebuilders is a faith-based mentoring program that was designed in collaboration with inmates and and promoted by ODRC. Lifebuilders focuses on the rehabilitative needs of the inmate participants. Volunteer mentors foster caring, support, and encourage personal development. The mentoring portion of the program focuses on encouraging and guiding the participants to achieve their goals. Inmates that receive no visits or have little outside support are primary candidates for this program. Individuals are welcome to participate regardless of their faith traditions.
Location: Immediate opportunities available for volunteers interested in serving at Chillicothe Correctional (CCI). London Correctional is also interested in starting a group.
Commitment Period: Lifebuilders is a six-month program that meets bi-weekly. At the end of the program, upon mutual agreement between mentor and inmate participant, the mentor can apply to be placed on the inmate’s visiting list as the inmate’s “Reentry Mentor of Record.”
Structure: At each meeting the faith group sponsoring the Lifebuilders class provides a brief teaching on a topic of their choosing. This may be a religious or spiritual lesson. Participants then meet 1-1 to work with inmates on their long and short-term personal goals using the Lifebuilders curriculum.
Other: Lifebuilders can be formed at any Ohio prison with the support of the warden.
Mentoring Matters – Alvis 180
Alvis 180 provides community and residential reentry programs for individuals and families with criminal justice involvement throughout Ohio. Alvis offers a Mentoring Matters Program that helps participants build and advance life skills and coping mechanisms through exposure to the situational role plays, peer and group support. The Mentoring Matters Program is dedicated to providing encouragement, support and guidance to individuals with criminal backgrounds to successfully achieve goals, build positive relationships, and regain trust and acceptance within their family and social circle. The Mentoring Matters program will help individuals with criminal backgrounds to develop important life skills, build self-confidence, avoid peer pressure and make positive decisions but also manage stress, emotions and displaced anger.
Location: Columbus, OH
Commitment Period: 6 months
Structure: Mentoring will occur in small groups of 4-6 individuals that meet twice a month (4 hours per month) for the first two (2) months of the program with a trained facilitator(s). After the two (2) months of the program, all mentees will participate in individual phone call conversations with a mentor twice a month for 30 minutes.
First Step Fridays – Franklin County
The Franklin County Reentry Coalition coordinates a monthly event from 10 – 1pm on the First Friday of the month. This resource fair serves as the “First Step” for justice-involved individuals who are leaving incarceration or beginning to seek out services in Franklin County. First Step is promoted throughout ODRC, parole, probation and reentry organizations.
Location: Ohio Means Jobs, 1111 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH
Commitment Period: First Fridays of the month.
Structure: Returning Citizens meet face to face with representatives from local government and service providers that help with core reentry needs. Volunteers help with greeting, intake, exit interviews, and navigating during the monthly event.
LEAF – Listening Encouraging and Assisting Families (of the Incarcerated)
LEAF is a peer support group to help meet the spiritual and emotional needs of families with incarcerated loved ones. ARCH helps train LEAF facilitators and can assist in getting your parish to become a site for a monthly LEAF meeting. The LEAD meetings have a trained facilitator that helps “hold space” for participants who need to talk, cry, ask questions or receive prayer.
Location: LEAF is currently at St. John Neumann Parish (Sunbury). We are looking to build more LEAF meetings at other parishes throughout the Diocese.
Commitment Period: 1 year, monthly meetings
Structure: LEAF meetings occur once a month for 1-2 hours for peer sharing and a place to talk. Some LEAF groups invite guest speakers who share expertise on certain aspects of navigating the correctional system.
Updated September, 2018