Grant Project Helps Inmates Adjust To Life Outside Of Prison
It’s a second chance at life and it’s designed specifically for felons who want to get back on track.
The New Beginnings Re-entry Projects prepares inmates and offenders to come back to the community before they are released from prison, jail, or treatment.
“Every case is unique; it depends on where they are, where they are coming from and where they are hoping to go,” said Jane Phelps, the project manager for the New Beginnings Re-entry Project.
Majority of the clients have substance use disorders. Associates Systems Navigator Michael Davis provides one-on-one recovery coaching to clients.
“A lived experience is one of the best ways to help someone go through it and move down that path of recovery,” Davis said. “I can’t make anybody be sober, but I can walk next to them on their path of recovery.”
The process for re-entry can take months, and housing is one of the challenges that clients face in the community. Phelps said about 95 of their 215 clients are homeless. There have been cases where people go back to doing drugs because it’s easier for them to go back to an environment where they know they’ll be accepted.
“So if they have no ID, no medical insurance, no housing, no clothing, no phone, no food, it’s really hard for them to figure out what they’re going to do,” Phelps said.
The program works in collaboration with other community resources to help aid clients with the support and relief they need in order to succeed.
Trish Hansen, the District Supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, said the program helps clients set up the resources needed for them. They make sure that they go to their appointments and to make sure they have a means to get there.
“They start to try and remove some of those barriers that prevent them from getting through programming that they need to do,” Hansen said.
The New Beginnings Re-entry Project is voluntary. Davis said that the clients that want to do the work and put in the effort are the ones that succeed.
“People start getting their kids back, they start getting there lives together, parents want to talk to them again, their brother and sisters. The family starts coming back together again, and you can see it in the people,” Davis said.