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Save the Date! The 8th annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University seeks to contribute to the growing movement to close jails and prisons as a part of the larger struggle to end mass incarceration. In particular, we will focus on elevating the efforts led by grassroots organizers that include formerly incarcerated and directly impacted people. Prison and jail closings have been taking place unevenly throughout the United States over the past decade. However, campaigns like the ones in New York, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee have helped to usher in a new phase, one that highlights the role of grassroots organizing and directly impacted leadership, and that has begun to put forth a more transformative vision of how to close jails and prisons and what comes in their place.

Momentum for lasting change is building. Helping The Community. Reentry Resources. First stop after prison. Recent blog posts.

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Visit to Davenport. Oakdale Voice article. But, over the past ten years, I have spent time in four different Iowa prisons as a teacher and volunteer. Nearly every visit and I consider myself fortunate to be only a visitor raised the issue of release and reentry. The concerns of the men and women as they thought about leaving prison and starting their lives outside echoed in my mind. Specifically, I remember a letter I received in early A man wrote that he was being released in six months and wanted to know what supports there were in his community.

I was doing prison reentry work in Iowa City, but not in his area. The key to successfully returning to the community starts with the individual. But I kept hearing over and over how important finding support on the outside is crucial to staying out of prison.

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At first I tried to list any resource I could find, but soon found it was better to focus on those that offer help with housing especially suitable parole locations , employment and health care. In addition, I wanted to find organizations that were welcoming and offered assistance with finding other area resources. My quest began in the summer of in Des Moines.

Bikers Beyond the Bars

Like many small organizations, Freedom Houses has no website so I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon Ms. Next, I wrote to the IDOC and each of the nine prisons to ask if they knew of any reentry organizations.

The staff from the prison in Mitchellville shared a long list that was aimed at women. The IDOC central administration shared their extensive resource guide which included many governmental and correctional agencies. However, my hope was to locate primarily non-profit organizations. One year later summer of , I thought the list was still quite sparse. Too many regions of the state had little or no reentry resources. I made the decision to hit the road and visit as many areas as I could.

Beyond The Bars - Mental Health News Radio Network

Besides, it gave me the chance to see more of the state. Pleasant, Fairfield and Ottumwa. What an eye-opener! In every town I was completely awestruck by the commitment and dedication of organizations offering their help to those leaving incarceration. We will make sure they get connected to the resources in our area.