Ex Offenders

Reintegrating Ex-Offenders & Protecting Residents from Predators

The initiative:  Reintegrating Ex-offenders & Protecting Residents from Predators relates to MAP initiative 1: Linking Learning, Health, and Prosperity, which discusses how to grow Muncie’s economy. One point addresses former prisoners and is entitled: Create a prisoner re-entry program with the support from local businesses. The TPA initiative on ex-offender reintegration will support the MAP initiative by assisting and supporting ex-offenders in their search for employment and assistance. In addition, this initiative supports the MAP initiative:  Create a healthy community. It does so by  protecting the residents from potential predators and by getting addicted ex-offenders the support they need to recovery.

How

From a neighborhood survey conducted in February, 2016 and a TPA Neighborhood Association meeting held on February 3rd, 2016, it was uncovered that a strong focus on prisoner reentry is required in the community.

Why

By successfully reintegrating the ex-offenders, the families within the neighborhood will gain income otherwise lost, and the community will gain productive workers and participants. In addition, the cycle of recidivism, defined as re-incarceration of former offenders within three years of release, will diminish and crime rates will decrease in the neighborhood making it safer for families and neighbors[1].

Prisoner re-incarceration has a high cost to any community. The cost of incarceration according to the Indiana Department of Corrections is $54.28/day for each offender. However, study findings suggest that education and employment decrease the likelihood of recidivating[2]. In addition, studies show three out of every four prisoners released annually abuse drugs and/or alcohol. Consequently, the high rate of ex-offenders with drug and alcohol issues must also be addressed in order to successfully reintegrate ex-offenders[3].

In addition, the neighbors expressed their concern of predators in the neighborhood. The neighbors spoke of instances where residents, especially females, felt threatened by the action of someone lurking around his or her property. Predators can be threatening both to the health of the residents and to the health of the neighborhood and community. Predators can keep people in their homes and ruin community building efforts.

What

The community may keep an inventory of places of support for ex-offenders with or without drug or alcohol addictions located on the website as well as posted in convenient locations within the community, such as the Ross Center. The current locations of support are included under the resource tab below. However, a collaboration with the Delaware County Corrections Office and the Delaware County Probations Office will allow for forever updated inventory. In addition to providing this public information, a list of possible transportation options to these locations could be included. To provide further support, local churches within the neighborhood with vans or buses could be involved to possibly shuttle these ex-offenders to support groups and meetings.

Prior to the local meetings, churches that shuttle these ex-offenders could provide a meal to show further support and encouragement as well as to create an additional incentive to go to the meetings. During these meals, these ex-offenders could also be given information on possible community involvement and encouraged to participate, whether it be a clean-up event or a softball game.

The community could also collaborate with local businesses, Ivy Tech, and Ball State to host a job fair where ex-offenders and members of the community could come to find work. In addition to finding a job, the career fair could offer resume advice and critique to the attendees. This job fair could take place at Maring-Hunt Library or at the Ross Center.

A committee could be created for the support of ex-offenders. This committee could create fliers and a section on the neighborhood website to provide employers with information on the benefits of hiring ex-offenders such as tax credits and loyal employees[4].

To address the issue concerning predators, the neighborhood could strengthen its neighborhood crime watch to include residents on every block. In addition, these residents could keep a call tree of neighbors in case of suspicious activity.

In addition to strengthening and broadening the neighborhood crime watch, the Ross Center could host occasional self-defense classes to women, children, and seniors in the neighborhood. With the assistance from the Muncie Police and/or local martial arts instructors, the neighborhood could assist those feeling threatened to feel safer and more prepared.

A link to the online registry of sex and violent offenders, included within the resources section of this initiative, could be available on the website for resident consideration and to inform concerned residents of potentially dangerous individuals within their neighborhood or community.

The neighborhood could keep an updated map on their websites of well-lit streets for safe walking after dark. The map concerning street lights addresses this topic. By doing this, those walking at night will have the chance to choose the safest route home based on the lighting available to them.

exoffender-1

Figure 1-Image showing a collaboration with local churches to transport ex-offenders to support meetings. Source: Tiffany Gehrke.

Who

A committee consisting of representatives from the Delaware County Community Corrections, Muncie Police, the Delaware County Adult Probation Office, the local churches, the neighborhood crime watch, and the neighborhood association may oversee this operation. By including these individuals, we are able to get the full range of information and tools to ensure the success of the operation.

Where

A list of places of support is provided under “Resources” and is shown in the map entitled “Convenient Bus Routes” below. These places include:

  1. Places for work and education help
    1. Work One
  2. Places of drug and alcohol recovery assistance
    1. Muncie Mission
    2. Muncie Alliance for the Prevention of Self Abuse
    3. Mid-State Area of Indiana Narcotics Anonymous
    4. Alcoholics Anonymous
    5. YWCA
    6. Delaware County Corrections Office
  3. Locations for general support
    1. Delaware County Corrections Office
    2. Delaware County Adult Probations Office

The committee could meet at the Ross Center or at a local church. A local church could host meals and transport ex-offenders to support meetings.

In addition the below map shows convenient bus routes to the locations of support.

ExCond1_Template_Portrait

Figure 2-Source:  Tiffany Gehrke

Case studies

Housing and Employment for Ex-Offenders

The initiative:  Housing and Employment for Ex-Offenders was proposed for the Blaine/Southeast Neighborhood in Muncie, Indiana in the fall of 2014. The plan was a collaboration between the Ball State Urban Planning and Development students and the Blaine/Southeast community. The intention of the plan was to both create job opportunities and housing for ex-offenders.

The initiative proposed that the neighborhood improves placement services by providing programs lead by leaders within the community. These programs would provide further guidance to the ex-offenders in the neighborhood.

Another proposal within this action plan was to host a job fair near or within the neighborhood. This job fair would not only provide potential links to jobs, but also an opportunity for resume review and critique from experts from Ivy Tech, Muncie Area Career Center, or Ball State University.

The initiative called for a possible policy change to assist with providing affordable housing for ex-offenders. This policy change would allow individuals to apply for assistance without regard to their criminal record.

Finally, the initiative proposed that the ex-offenders participate in an education/community service program such as rehabilitating abandoned homes which they can eventually own. This initiative called for the neighborhood to provide transitional housing for short-term residency while the ex-offenders restored the abandoned homes. Once the homes were fixed up, these properties would become permanent homes for the ex-offenders. Government officials or program leaders would oversee the process.

An option was proposed for a neighborhood organization to apply for grants to fix up the abandoned homes in the area. In this instance, the ex-offenders would again fix them up. Once, the homes were restored, the organization could rent the homes out to the ex-offenders.

Lastly, the initiative proposed policy changes such as amending driving restrictions and minimizing bans on income subsidies[5].

ex-con-housing_2

Figure 3-Image from Housing and Employment for Ex-Offenders. Source:  wordpress.com.

Philadelphia Consensus Group on Reentry & Reintegration of Adjudicated Offenders

In 2002, a group called the Philadelphia Consensus Group on Reentry & Reintegration of Adjudicated Offenders was formed and consisted of representatives from the prison system, courts, police, attorneys, service providers, and faith-based and community organizations. The group was formed to address the issue of recidivism (ex-offenders being incarcerated again). This group came up with over forty findings and recommendations. Among these were recommendations for pre and post-release planning initiatives.

Ready4Work was created from this endeavor. It utilizes local coalition collaboration to improve outcomes for ex-offenders and their communities. Read4Work calls for better and more coordinated services.

The accomplishments that have already been achieved can be seen with the following:

  1. A collaboration between the probation & parole department and a local mental health and retardation center to meet the needs of offenders with disorders.
  2. Community legal services have filed a joint amicus curiae against post-incarceration sanctions such as the ban on food stamps and cash assistance
  3. A local organization collaborated with the Consensus Group and hosted a successful lunch for over 500 ex-offenders. This local organization also agreed to act as a healthcare provider to the HIV-positive ex-offenders.
  4. A subcommittee of the Consensus Group was created to collect data and best practices from all over the U.S. to create a model plan for successful reintegration[6].

Resources

Delaware County Community Corrections
The Delaware County Corrections office hosts a plethora of meetings assisting ex-offenders including support groups such as the following:

  1. New Beginning, an open ex-offender support group, on Wednesdays from 7 pm to 8 pm
  2. NA on Monday at 5:30 pm
  3. AA on Thursday at 5:30 pm

To attend these meetings, just walk in. These meetings give support and guidance in your path to recovery and/or re-entry.

Contact information

Delaware County Community Corrections
225 N. High Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 747- 7825
Fax: (765) 747-7868
Contact:  Mitch Cassell, Executive Director
Email:  ljordan@co.delaware.in.us

 Alcohol Anonymous Districts 85, 87, & 89
AA offers support for those struggling with alcohol addictions. Meeting times & locations are listed on the website.
Depending on the meeting, walk-ins may be welcome or invitations may be required.

Contact information

Alcohol Anonymous Districts 85, 87, & 89
PO Box 2072
Muncie IN 47307
Phone: (765) 284-2515

Mid-State Area of Indiana Narcotics Anonymous
NA offers assistance to those individuals struggling with drug addiction. Meeting times & locations are on the website. Depending on the meeting, you may just walk in, or it may require an invitation.

Contact information

Mid-State Area of Indiana Narcotics Anonymous
PO Box 3353
Muncie, IN 47307
Phone: (765) 683-2022

WorkOne: Re-Entry Program
This program offers assistance with preparing for interviews and with finding jobs.
It requires you to bring a state-issued valid ID and social security card to the Work One location between 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Individuals may schedule appointments with Staci Selke or attend her workshops that occur on the second Thursday of each month at the Muncie location from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Contact information

WorkOne: Re-Entry Program
201 E. Charles Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 289-1861
Contact Person:  Staci Selke, Re-Entry Employment Coordinator
Email:  sselke@work-one.org
Phone: (765) 289-1861 ext. 2162
Cell: (765) 717-6549
Fax: (765) 741-5856

 Work One: Adult Basic Education
This program assists individuals in preparing for the GED or High School Equivalency Exam (HSE).
It requires each person to have a valid state-issued ID and social security card. Each interested person must call ahead to register for orientation. Leave your name and number with a staff member or on a voicemail. The orientations take place on a Tuesday and will take most of the day. Class times are from 8:30 am to 11:00 am or from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm Monday through Friday.

Contact information

Work One: Adult Basic Education
Phone: (765) 289-1861 Ext. 2157

 Muncie Alliance for the Prevention of Self Abuse (MAPA)
This program offers safe housing, programming, and resource connections for drug and alcohol addicts in exchange for following the rules and participating. It requires that you be drug and alcohol free and have a desire to change. In addition, participants must state all of the outstanding court costs, fines, assessments, and restitution due upon their release and where they need to make their payments.  If a participant is on probation/parole and leaves the community, they are under obligation to notify the applicable authorities of participants’ change in residency.

Contact information

Muncie Alliance for the Prevention of Self Abuse (MAPA)
720 East Second Street
Muncie, IN 47302
Email:  mapa.muncie@gmail.com
Phone: (765) 282-9290
Fax: (765) 896-9908
Contact:  Stephen Mitchell, Executive Director

 Muncie Mission
The program offers food, shelter, and guidance for a year or more for those struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. A requirement for drug rehabilitation is that you be struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction with a desire to recover. Otherwise, you only need to walk-in through the family services entrance at any time on any day.

Contact information

Muncie Mission
1725 S. Liberty Street
Muncie, IN 47302
Phone: (765) 288-9122
Fax: (765) 288-9986
Contact:  Jessie Dudley, Volunteer Coordinator
Email:  jdudley@munciemission.org
Phone: (765) 288-9122 ext. 230

YWCA of Muncie
This program offers shelter, support, and necessities throughout the drug or alcohol recovery process. Walk-ins are welcome for females with drug or alcohol addiction.

Contact information

YWCA of Muncie
310 E. Charles Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 284-3345
Fax: (765) 289-0416
Contact:  WaTasha Barnes Griffin, Residential Director
Email:  wgriffin@muncieywca.org

More Contact Information

Delaware County Adult Probation Office
100 W. Main Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 747-7701
Contact:  Vickie L. Reed, Chief Probation Officer

Maring-Hunt Library
2005 S. High Street
Muncie, IN 47302
Phone: (765) 747-8200
Contact: Pamela Konkle

Ross Center
1110 W 10th Street
Muncie, IN 47302
Phone:  (765) 747-4741
Contact: Jacqueline Hanoman, Director

Websites

Alcohol Anonymous:
http://www.aamuncie.org

Mid-State Area of Indiana Narcotics Anonymous:
www.na.org

Muncie Alliance for the Prevention of Self Abuse (MAPA):
http://www.mapamuncie.org/apply.html

Tax Credits and Business Incentives:
http://www.in.gov/dwd/2732.htm

Sex Offender Registry:
http://www.icrimewatch.net/indiana.php

YWCA of Muncie:
www.muncieywca.org

[1] “Indiana Department of Correction Adult Recidivism Rates.” Accessed March 12, 2016. http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/2012_Adult_Recidivism_Summary.pdf.

[2] Nally, John, Susan Lockwood, and Taiping Ho. “The Impact of Education and Employment on Recidivism.” Accessed March 19, 2016. http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/Impact_of_Education_and_Employment_on_Recidivism

[3] “Make Ex-Offender Community Reentry a Success.” Accessed March 18, 2016. http://www.nafj.org/pdfs/policybriefreentryweb.pdf

[4] “Indiana Department of Workforce Development.” DWD: Hoosier Initiative for Re-Entry. Accessed March 19, 2016. http://www.in.gov/dwd/2732.htm.

[5] “Housing and Employing Ex-Offenders.” BlaineSoutheast. 2014. Accessed March 19, 2016. https://blainesoutheastneighborhood.wordpress.com/goals-initiatives/economic-development/housing-and-employing-ex-offenders/.

[6] “Philadephia: Consensus Group on Reentry & Reintegration of Adjudicated Offenders.” Accessed March 16, 2016. https://www.sfcg.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Philadelphia-Report-2nd-Edition-2004.pdf.