Read Re-enter: The Social Cost of Incarceration text version

re enter

the social cost of incarceration

Helping Prisoners Fight Addiction When Parents Go To Prison Taking Faith Behind Bars One Ex-Prisoner's Journey


Letter from the Editors

Editor-in-Chief: Angela Daunis Deputy Editor: Angela Paneck Art Director: Karen Scherer Photography Editor: Erika Nortemann Assistant Editors: Callie Dunbar, Chandni Jhunjhunwala Editorial Assistant: Kari Carlson Production Manager: Velynda Fultz Designers: Autumn Coppejans, Angela Daunis, Amanda Wurzinger Staff Photographers: Diane Cutler, Carol Highsmith Writers: Krista Boyd, Kari Carlson, Katie Cox, Angela Daunis, Jennifer Devine, Callie Dunbar, Jesse Folk, Lynn Freehill, Andrea Garnant, Alison Griffin, Meridian Herman, Erika Hoefer, Chandni Jhunjhunwala, Jenny McCuen, Angela Paneck, Sara Reimer, Mackenzie Roebuck-Walsh, Betsy Rubiner, Andrea Schmidt, Barbara Simpson, Tanner Stransky, Amanda Wurzinger Editorial Coordinator: Betsy Rubiner Design Advisor: John Fender Printer: ACME Publishing Special thanks to: Jane Fogg and Joy Moore of Making Connections, Ira Barbell, Charles Bruner, Fred Scaletta, Anne Brown, Iowa Department of Corrections, Luana Nelson-Brown, and all local programs that assisted us. Published for the Annie E. Casey Foundation through the E.T. Meredith Center for Magazine Studies. Director, Patricia Prijatel. Making Connections is a family strengthening / neighborhood transformation initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We believe children do well when families do well and families do better in safe and supportive neighborhoods.

When we started this project, we had no idea what we were getting into. We had heard a lot in the news about prison overcrowding, with an emphasis on the punitive aspect of criminal behavior. But we had never thought about what happens when people leave prison. Prisoner re-entry is an issue that affects everyone, not just the ex-prisoner. It impacts children, families, and entire communities. We were amazed to learn how many programs exist to help ex-prisoners and their families. But we were also stunned to discover how many needs are not being met. The issue of prisoner re-entry is complicated by shifts in public policy, lack of funding, and barriers to education, employment, housing, and healthcare. Re-entry efforts must begin inside the walls, and have to be extended by the community outside. Public awareness is the first step toward improvement. We hope this magazine helps open your mind to the issue of prisoner re-entry--it definitely opened ours. Angela Daunis, Editor-in-Chief Angela Paneck, Deputy Editor



Our photography editor, Erika Nortemann, followed ex-prisoner Mark Church to find out what re-entry is like. Pictured on the cover are Mark and his family.

photo by Erika Nortemann


photos by Erika Nortemann, Diane Cutler and Carol Highsmtih. All photos in this publication are used with permission by Making Connections.


The federal government's re-entry initiative paves the way for Iowa's first formal re-entry program, but existing public policies create barriers for ex-prisoners. Community support is essential to successful re-entry. Local programs support ex-prisoners and families through a variety of services.






Treatment programs inside and outside the prison walls help prisoners fight addictions that keep them from making healthy lifestyle choices.





The faith community provides prisoners and ex-prisoners with hope for a better future. Faith-based organizations go beyond ministry; they provide supportive services and a sense of family.


When parents go to prison, what happens to their children? Some programs are focusing on building better parents and providing support to strengthen families during and after incarceration.



Education & Employment

Prisoners need job training and education to succeed outside the walls. Programs inside the walls help prisoners prepare for re-entry, while outside programs help ex-prisoners find employment.


Going To Prison



Barbara Simpson reflects on how her experience writing with women at Mitchellville prison changed her perspective about prisoners.

spring 2004


Liberating Their Dreams

Microenterprise training is helping women at Mitchellville prison plan viable financial futures.



One Family's Cause

The Lambertis faced the trauma of prisoner re-entry. Instead of turning their back on the problem, they are helping other prisoners.


On the Road to Success



Mark Church has been given a new start to life, and he's taking advantage of as many opportunities for success as he can.



Question: How does Iowa's exploding prison Answer: These children are most likely to have

By Betsy Rubiner

This explains why the re-entry of former prisoners has become a white-hot children's issue. In Iowa and beyond, child advocacy and anti-poverty groups now say efforts to help urban families must include helping formerly incarcerated men and women successfully re-enter society as good parents and good neighbors. "We can't really address issues in the inner city without doing something around re-entry and looking at the consequences for kids and families," says Charlie Bruner, executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center in Des Moines. For Iowa, re-entry is a particularly critical issue because the state's population of young adult male prisoners has grown at a much faster rate than its overall population. Between 1980 and 4 4 2001, Iowa's prisoner population grew by 227 percent while Iowa's overall population grew by less than 1 percent. Nationwide, efforts to publicize and reduce the social costs of incarceration and re-entry are gaining steam. Congress has appropriated $100 million to help communities prepare for the release of record numbers of prisoners. Also pitching in are groups like the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C. social policy think tank, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore children's philanthropy. In Iowa, the "Going Home Re-Entry Program," a multi-agency effort, has been launched in Polk County, funded with a $2 million federal grant and coordinated by Des Moines Area Community College. Other longstanding programs work to help ex-prisoners strengthen family ties, improve parenting skills, and find good jobs, affordable housing, and substance abuse treatment. Also involved is Making Connections, a 4-year-old collaboration between the Casey Foundation and Des Moines residents designed to

population further jeopardize Des Moines' most disadvantaged children?

parents and neighbors who've been in prison.

photo illustrations by Carol Highsmith

improve the prospects of at-risk children living in the city's toughest Iowa's incarceration rate for black residents is the nation's second neighborhoods east of the state capitol and north of downtown. highest. A statewide task force is working on the issue. "If we're thinking of transforming communities, improving When incarceration separates a family, the children left behind neighborhoods, and helping at-risk children, we can't ignore this," can be harmed emotionally, psychologically, developmentally, and explains Ira Barbell, a Casey Foundation senior associate and team financially. Immediate effects can include shame, increased leader for Des Moines. "We can't just work with kids. The parents delinquency, increased risk of abuse or neglect, and loss of financial are essentially the most important influence in kids' lives. If one support. Long-term, children of inmates are six times more likely to of those parents becomes a criminal and is in and out of prison, end up in prison themselves than children with non-inmate parents, that has an impact." according to some estimates. Former inmates return in disproportionately large numbers to When prisoners who are parents are released, the pressure on Polk County's highest risk census tracts, 80 percent of which are their families often continues. Thanks to recent laws and policies that Making Connections' targeted neighborhoods. About 6 percent restrict the ability of ex-prisoners especially those with felony drug of the adults in the highest risk tracks convictions to successfully re-enter are on probation or parole, compared society, ex-prisoners face barriers to with less than one percent of adults finding housing and jobs, to receiving elsewhere in the county. Eight percent of benefits and supports, to participating the children in these tracts have a parent as citizens. in prison, compared with 1.4 percent of "These individuals are put at a severe other Polk County children. disadvantage in today's society in being The concentration of "a high number able to find a viable way to make a of ex-offenders in a single place (can) living," says Barbell. permeate the feel within a neighborhood As a result, too many ex-prisoners and make it difficult for families living returning to communities--as parents, there," says Barbell. spouses, siblings, and adult children-- During the past thirty years, the don't make it. Too many end up becoming nation's prison population--especially a liability rather than an asset to their its female population--has soared as a families and communities, as well as a result of tougher federal sentencing laws drain on the state's economy. Close to and increased incarceration of illegal two-thirds of prisoners are arrested again drug offenders. More than half the within three years of release. nation's 1.4 million adults in state and Granted, not all ex-prisoners are prime federal prisons are parents of children candidates for rehabilitation and re-entry under 18. About 1.8 million children efforts must be balanced with public under age 18 have at least one parent safety concerns. "These are in prison and an estimated 10 million complex individuals, complex will have a parent in the criminal justice circumstances," says Barbell. "There are system custody during their childhood. some really miserable people in prison-- "These individuals are put at a Re-entry has become an especially but there's a range of people. You can't pressing issue as states, including Iowa, (paint) everybody with the same brush." severe disadvantage in today's release more prisoners in order to ease While there's no simple solution, society in being able to find a viable re-entry advocates are pushing for prison overcrowding and save money during tough economic times. This year, more and better rehabilitative efforts, way to make a living." more than 650,000 men and women will beginning inside the prison walls and leave state and federal prisons. In Iowa, continuing on the outside, connecting just as the prison population has tripled since the early 1980s, so too ex-prisoners to their families, communities, and economic opportunihas the number of ex-prisoners returning to society. Over the past ties. Successful two years, the number of paroles in Iowa has increased by 26 percent, re-entry, they argue, benefits not only disadvantaged children but socithanks partly to a new state policy of granting early release to lowerety at large, by reducing welfare costs and crime. risk inmates. "If you want to intervene to make significant change, this is a Many prison inmates are low-income people of color, the result, population society should spend some time thinking about," says some experts say, of inequities in the criminal justice system. In Iowa, Barbell. "How do we understand their circumstances, engage more than one in four incarcerated adults and youth are minorities-- them and create opportunities for them, and for the kids and 5 5 blacks, Hispanics, American Indians--even though they make up just families connected to them, to be successful?" 7.4 percent of the state's population. While this is a national problem,


Going Home

Iowa's first formal prisoner re-entry program

by Jesse Folk and Andrea Garnant

In 2001, Iowa created a new program to improve community safety and make ex-prisoner transitions from prison to public more positive. The Going Home Re-Entry Program was created with a $2 million grant from the federal government to the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC). The project, which provides an array of services inside and outside prison walls, is only available to ex-prisoners returning to Polk County. But the beginning phase of the project--offered inside prisons--is open to all. Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) became the lead local agency in 2003 and coordinates most of the program. A main goal is to eventually offer similar services throughout Iowa. "If the evaluations show that what we are doing is really effective, then we will try to see how we can implement it statewide," says Anne Brown, the DOC's director of planning. "Although the state does not provide funding for the re-entry program, this could be a possibility." The re-entry program occurs in three phases: incarceration, transition, and aftercare. The first phase is Life Skills, formerly known as KEYS. It is offered for adults at Fort Dodge, Mitchellville, and Newton prisons, and for juveniles at the Boys State Training School and the State Juvenile Home. "Every prisoner has to go through an eight-week [prerelease] program," Brown says. Before release, inmates returning to Polk County are identified and, if necessary, transferred to one of the institutions where Life Skills is offered. Caseworkers assess the possible re-entry barriers for each individual. In the transition phase, after leaving prison, ex-prisoners are helped by case

Voting Rights:

Laws/Policies: A convicted felon loses the right to vote. The right can only be restored through an application process that requires the Governor's approval. Potential Issues/Consequences: Many ex-prisoners aren't aware they can have their voting rights restored. The process entails filling out a five-page application. Applications may take years to be reviewed. Prisoners can avoid some barriers if they are made aware of their options in advance. Other barriers will require changing public policies and laws. Given the current barriers ex-prisoners face upon re-entering society, it is easy for them to return to crime, says Dana Delaney, a Master of Social Work intern at CFPC. "There's a lot of roadblocks for them and they don't have many choices," she says. Lifting some burdens that ex-prisoners face upon re-entry will help them make a turnaround instead of going back to crime, she says.

Life Skills

Preparation For Re-entry Begins Inside the Walls

by Meridian Herman with reporting by Jennifer Devine

The Going Home Re-Entry Program starts inside prison walls with an effort called Life Skills, managed by Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). "Life Skills is focused on educating inmates on positive life skills and vocational training so [they] are properly prepared to function successfully in their communities and earn a livable wage," says Sheri Reynolds, Life Skills coordinator. The U.S. Department of Education awarded the three-year Life Skills grant of about $470,000 to DMACC and the program began in April 2004. Prisoners attend classes for 12 weeks, receiving general education, treatment for mental health and substance abuse, job training, and computer and trade skills

Re-entry Funding: Federal government provides $100 million

by Andrea Garnant

In 2001, the U.S. Department of Justice and Office of Justice Programs introduced the "Serious and Violent Offender Re-Entry Initiative," an effort to help ex-prisoners transition back into the community. "This initiative helps provide individuals who have been released from prison the opportunity to become productive citizens and members of society," said Attorney General John Ashcroft, in a press release announcing the nationwide re-entry effort. "The re-entry programs aid in making sure these individuals will not return to a life of crime." The federal government gave $100 million in grants to states to develop and implement programs that prepare prisoners for successful re-entry. Each state received a three-year grant of $2 million. Because there were funds left over, each state received an additional $70,000: $20,000 for mental health services and $50,000 for substance abuse. Iowa used its federal money to establish the Going Home Re-Entry Program in Polk County, Iowa's first formal prisoner re-entry program.



The re-entry program consists of three phases: incarceration, transition, and aftercare.

managers to make connections. "Case managers will help them find jobs and get the mental health and other services they need," Brown says. The aftercare phase provides one year of services to help find employment. Ex-prisoners can also receive substance abuse and mental health services. The focus is to make sure ex-prisoners adapt well to their environment and maintain the connections to community resources they made during the transition. "These people have been surrounded by an environment of self-reliance for so long that they no longer understand that they need other people," says Luana Nelson-Brown, Going Home coordinator. "They need the help, so part of our job is to prove to them that it's okay to ask for it." Lindsay Manning, an ex-prisoner who has gone through Going Home, says if she hadn't finally asked for help, she might be back behind bars. "I was getting ready to be released for the second time," Manning says. "I heard of the program through my parole officer. I knew that without the support they provided that I would probably wind up back in prison." Manning says the program provided her with helpful resources and people. The first time she left prison, she didn't get this. "When I got out the first time I didn't have anything," Manning says. "I was just off on my own without any structure. Now I know where to go when I need help. I'm getting involved in my community, and I feel like I finally have something to look forward to." The Going Home program's first year ended in 2003. A comprehensive evaluation has not been completed yet, but Nelson-Brown is optimistic. "I think we've started something here," she says. "It's something that corrections officials and community leaders should take note of across the country."

A Collaborative Effort

by Andrea Garnant

Agencies work together to provide services

The Going Home Re-Entry Program is a collaborative effort to help adult and juvenile offenders successfully re-enter Iowa communities. Re-entry efforts begin in prison and continue as ex-prisoners transition back into the community. Going Home provides education, job and life skills training, substance abuse and mental health treatment, and supervision. Because Going Home was implemented in Polk County, all participants are supervised by the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services (DCS). DCS provides community-based supervision during work release and parole. It partners with five other agencies to conduct the Going Home program. These agencies include: · Iowa Department of Corrections: Identifies prisoners eligible to participate in Going Home, manages the program budget and pays supporting agencies, and trains case managers to work with offenders. · Des Moines Area Community College: Manages adults participating in Going Home by providing individual case managers who work with local employers and educators to find job training and education assistance. In addition, case managers help ex-prisoners find housing, substance abuse treatment, family counseling, transportation, and child care. · Polk County Decategorization/Department of Human Services: Manages juveniles participating in Going Home. Provides juvenile case managers through Lutheran Social Services, Iowa Comprehensive Human Services, and the PACE Juvenile Justice Center. · Iowa Workforce Development: Helps ex-prisoners find employment by providing job training and job placement assistance. · Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Agency: Records and evaluates the progress of the re-entry program. A full evaluation report will be prepared in May 2005. crimes. The offenders believe they're a productive part of society. This time the offender knows something different and perhaps they can serve as a role model."

training. Life Skills expands on a previous program called Keys Essential to Your Success that began in 2002. Life Skills provides each prisoner with a case manager. Case managers visit the prisons and meet with prisoners to help them prepare to re-enter the community. The case manager helps with the actual transition from prison to the world beyond. More a mentor than a parole officer, the case manager remains involved through the post-release stages of Going Home. "When these individuals get back into the community, they have a chance to make it," says Jeff Schultz, DOC parole probations officer supervisor. "If the offender feels they have a chance to succeed, they're unlikely to [commit a crime] again. It helps the community that they're not out there committing new



Rev. Carlos Jayne

Pushing for reform

by MacKenzie Roebuck-Walsh

Rev. Carlos Jayne walks into a room wearing a dark red sweater and carrying a black leather briefcase packed with several articles on prison reform and drafts of reform bills he's promoting. For a passionate activist who has devoted his life to improving the lives of female prisoners, his demeanor is surprisingly calm. Before retiring from the Methodist ministry 14 years ago, Jayne routinely visited the women's prison at Mitchellville. He noticed a dire need for reform. "Sometimes it seemed as though they Rev. Carlos Jayne spends his days at the capitol lobbying for social change. didn't even treat the women like humans," photo by Erika Nortemann Jayne says. He says several rules and daily legislative sessions to make sure his calls for prison reform are heard. regulations were unreasonable. His concerns led him to Jayne also lobbies for more programs to help prisoners. "Most start Friends of Women Prisoners at Mitchellville. prisoners want to change, get out of jail, and become productive Jayne and his colleagues met with prison executives citizens. But they don't know how," he says. He wants to increase prison and the warden to change policies. One policy restricted funding so extra staff can be hired to accommodate Iowa's increasing prisoners from receiving greeting cards with more than prisoner population. He wants to eliminate the mandatory minimum one signature. Thanks to Jayne's efforts, prisoners now sentencing law, arguing that many prisoners with lesser offenses, such receive cards signed by more than one relative or friend. as drug charges, would benefit more from treatment programs than Jayne is pushing for other reform. As a lobbyist for incarceration. the Justice Reform Consortium, an Iowa advocacy "My goal is to change the way we do criminal justice in Iowa. The group, he works with other activist family and friends of groups I represent are working in favor of rehabilitation and restorative prisoners or former prisoners. justice that would still protect the public safety, but in a way that helps This year alone, the group has offered 15 proposals to the Iowa legislature to improve prison life. Jayne attends people to get out of prison and stay out," Jayne says.

Restorative Justice Programs

Victims and prisoners work together to achieve healing

by Angela Daunis

The way the current justice system works, crime is considered an act against the state. The needs of the victim and the community are completely ignored, says Betty Brown, administrator of victim and restorative justice programs for the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC). But restorative justice programs aim to heal victims. They hold prisoners accountable for their actions. And they teach them that somebody cares about them as people who have made mistakes and can still contribute to the community. The first step in restorative justice is for inmates to accept full responsibility for their crimes. Then they participate in victim impact panels, where a victim of crime talks to prisoners. Victim impact panels are taught in nearly all of Iowa's prisons. Panels are three months long and are mandatory for violent offenders, as well as those who are ordered to take the panel by a parole board or prison intake evaluation. "In lots of cases, this is the first time a prisoner has even thought about the victim," says Brown. Ex-prisoner Jose Ochoa says that the victim impact panel changed his life. At first, he didn't take the class seriously. But after a while the class made him focus on himself and his crime. He remembers writing a hypothetical obituary for someone in his family. He says this activity helped him understand what it was like to be a victim. Ochoa believes that the victim impact classes should be mandatory for everyone, not just violent offenders. Restorative justice also includes writing workshops offered at prisons in Newton, Fort Dodge, Rockwell City, Oakdale, and Mitchellville. Once a week, for about three months, victims, members of the community, inmates, and a victim's advocate meet and learn writing skills. However, the writing is secondary. The primary goal of the program is for the group to work together, share, and see each other as human beings.



Public Policy

The effect on the formerly incarcerated

by Angela Daunis

In mid-2003, 8,361 inmates were in Iowa prisons, a staggering difference compared to 2,684 inmates in 1993. Harsher sentences combined with barriers when re-entering society increase the challenge for ex-prisoners trying to make a better future for themselves and their families. In 2003, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Child and Family Policy Center (CFPC) studied public policies affecting ex-prisoners and their families. They examined federal and state laws and policies, as well as the practical implications for ex-prisoners. "I didn't realize how many laws or policies there are that exclude people with convictions," says Dana Delaney, a Master of Social Work intern at CFPC. Here are a few state and federal laws and policies that affect ex-prisoners: Obtaining a Driver's License: Laws/Policies: A person with child support debt cannot obtain a driver's license or renew a driver's license until arrangements for payment are made with the Child Support Recovery Unit. Potential Issues/Consequences: Prisoners may not be aware that they can take steps to serve the suspension while in prison. Employment Opportunities: Laws/Policies: Iowa laws require background checks and child abuse registry checks for people working with children in a variety of occupations, ranging from counselors in residential treatment programs to employees in charge of play areas at fast food restaurants. Jobs that require licensing by the state, such as accounting, cosmetology, and physical therapy also require criminal background checks. State laws prohibit employers from hiring ex-prisoners in the health care field. Potential Issues/Consequences: Only in some circumstances are people with positive criminal background checks eligible for employment. When a background check shows a criminal record, employers often view this as a liability. Even though employers are allowed to hire ex-prisoners, they often do not. Although ex-prisoners technically can't work in health-care settings, they can with approval from the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS). This is a painstaking and lengthy process. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamps: Laws/Policies: Iowa allows people with felony drug convictions to still receive TANF (formerly AFDC or welfare) and food stamps, but only after they complete a drug rehabilitation program. Potential Issues/Consequences: Iowa offers few drug rehabilitation programs that provide free or low-cost treatment. Subsidized Housing (Section 8 and Public Housing Subsidies): Laws/Policies: Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) can deny admission and evict someone accused of alleged criminal activity. PHAs can deny admission to an adult family member with a history of committing violent crimes against people or property or other criminal acts that could harm the health, safety, and welfare of other tenants. Potential Issues/Consequences: Ex-prisoners with a drug conviction cannot move into subsidized housing with their family. If a housing leader requires a credit or background check, prior history of evictions or convictions could damage the applicant's chance of renting property.

Barb Link, of Des Moines, is a victim whose son was murdered when he was stopped on the street and asked for help. She participated in the first Writing Workshop held at Newton prison. She says it was a positive experience that helped her view inmates as real people. "Week by week you can feel this incredible friendship or cohesiveness developing. They're still human beings, and they have to be redeemed," she says. Link says it's important for prisoners to be treated with respect. "If we treat them like terrible human beings, that's how they're going to feel about themselves when they get out of prison." The Writing Workshop helped Link heal. She says the program benefits the whole community by offering a restorative, not punishing, experience for inmates. The DOC offers other programs that provide support for inmates and victims. Through Circles of Support, at Mitchellville prison, family members, friends, victims, and churches gather around prisoners for encouragement. Also new at Mitchellville is the Alternative to Violence program. It sponsors community members who go into prisons to teach about alternatives to violence. Prisoners in turn teach other inmates the same lessons. A griefworkshop, held at Newton prison, connects hospice

workers with inmates who are struggling with the loss of family, jobs, economic freedom, and more. Another restorative justice program allows victims to meet face to face with the inmate who committed a crime against them. These Victim Offender Intervention Sessions only take place if the victim requests them. Brown says she leads about four or five per year. These sessions include "counselor support for both the victim and inmate and a qualified facilitator. Many hours are spent prior to each session preparing both the victim and the inmate," she says. If the public community doesn't get involved through programs like these, the transition in and out of prison will be very difficult. For Jose Ochoa, participating in the victim impact panel and writing workshop made a big difference. In the future, he'd like to see restorative justice programs carry on outside the walls. "I didn't realize the ripple effect of victimizing someone, but there are no victimless crimes," he says.



Urban Dreams

by Jenny McCuen

A support system for ex-prisoners, families, and community

Williams describes the unending cycle of frustration he has experienced since getting out of prison. He talks about probation officers and rehabilitation programs and one-on-one sessions with counselors, about the difficulty of finding permanent work. Without work, it's hard to get an apartment. And without an address, it's hard to find a job. Ex-prisoners must also pay child support and victim compensation. Urban Dreams program coordinator

Reggie Williams knows getting a permanent job is difficult. He's been out of prison for five and a half months, and he's still looking. Right now, he's answering the phone at Urban Dreams and interviewing for jobs. To Reggie, Urban Dreams is "sort of like family." And it is. Urban Dreams is a community-based program in Des Moines that helps everyone from infants to adults. It's a place to step in from the cold, drink a cup of coffee, and socialize. It's also a place to use the phone and find job listings, information, and referral programs.

The Directors' Council:

Non-profits focus on re-entry

by Krista Boyd

The Directors' Council formed five years ago when directors of ten non-profit groups joined forces to try to improve the lives of Des Moines' inner-city residents. Last year, the Council began addressing issues of reentry into the community and created a coalition to address challenges including legal, administrative, housing, employment, and personal issues. Influential community leaders interested in working with ex-prisoners joined the coalition, creating a 40member steering committee. Members include police probation officers, judges, and the director of the Iowa Department of Corrections. Planning began in October 2003, with funding from Making Connections--a collaborative effort between Des Moines residents and the Annie E. Casey Foundation to improve the lives of disadvantaged children. Dr. Anthony J. Grasso, executive director of the Directors' Council and a consultant at the Pace Juvenile Center, says the Council works "on developing a community-wide strategic plan to improve the re-entry of ex-prisoners." For example, if an ex drug-offender has a suspended driver's license, he or she can lose employment opportunities. The Council tries to change this by helping prisoners renew their licenses while incarcerated. This means they may have more job opportunities once they're released. The Council is also concerned about the impact of a prisoner's re-entry on children and families. It hopes to provide programs for the many children with one or more parents in a correctional facility. Re-entry services such as the YMCA's residential program already help newly released prisoners. "We have quite a number of ex-offenders who don't have a place to go and they stay here with us," says Council member Vernon Delpesce, president and CEO of the Greater Des Moines YMCA. The Council wants to make existing services like these more accessible, while identifying services that are missing for ex-prisoners and their families. The Council's re-entry efforts are still in the planning stages, but it is seeking state, federal and private funding. "We are trying to help point [ex-prisoners] in the right direction," Delpesce says.

Members of the Director's Council:

Creative Visions: Aims to transform troubled youth into productive citizens. Spectrum Resources: Provides employment training, job placement, and affordable housing to low-income adults and youth in Des Moines and Polk County. OSACS: Offers outreach programs for low-income women. YMCA & YWCA: Provides equal opportunities of development to strengthen children, adults, and communities. Urban Dreams: Youth-oriented programs including ex-offender support, recreational, and educational services. Pace Juvenile Center: Programs help troubled youth and their families develop life skills. Boys & Girls Club: Mentorship and programs instill a sense of hope and belonging in disadvantaged kids. Upward Bound: Support and counseling to help students graduate high-school and prepare for college. Wilkie House: Youth center to provide educational and social skills for children.



Bobby Stanley says that as an exprisoner, "What you're stepping into is not what you left. You [have to] learn to readjust to society, culture." Urban Dreams helps determine ex-prisoners' job skills and aspirations. It offers education and work skill development programs so ex-prisoners can get jobs that will not force them to revert back to criminal activities that may land them in prison again. Urban Dreams sees "a lot of people who just need a boost... who don't know where to turn. Sometimes [it helps] just Kelvin Briggs, a community outreach liaison at Urban Dreams works with client Timothy Pridgen. having a real person to talk to," says photo by Diane Cutler Program Director Lola Peters. Peters and the other staff of Urban Dreams form a support system for the ex-prisoners, Urban Dreams focuses on education, Des Moines Health Center. Both their families, and the community. trying to instill good parenting techniques Urban Dreams and Des Moines Health Peters works with the Healthy Start and life skills in parents, whether or not Center use grant money to remove the and Empowerment programs, which they are ex-prisoners. This emphasis on barriers for these children through this help families be "healthy in the education is apparent in the connections program. "Some people just don't grow broadest sense of the word." She doesn't Urban Dreams has with local schools. up going to the dentist," Peters says. have exact statistics on the programs' Moulton Elementary and Harding A dental van comes to Moulton and success rates, but cites Harding to offer free some successes. One check-ups for the children mother, struggling and they have a chance "What you're stepping into is not with depression, conto receive a free physiwhat you left. You [have to] learn to tinued her education cal from Mercy Medical with the help of Urban Center at school. Because readjust to society, culture" Dreams. Once she physicals are required for started school, "her sports, having the doctors life turned around. come to the school "made It opened up a whole new world," says Middle School in Des Moines have afterit likely that every single child would Peters. The mother's self-esteem was school programs set up though Urban receive [a physical]," says Peters. strengthened and so was her family. Dreams to keep kids off the streets and Urban Dreams also tries to reach The Healthy Start and Empowerment provide them with positive activities, "kids falling through the cracks," says programs help families with finding says Peters. These after-school programs Peters. Programs through Urban housing, education, crisis management, are open to any child and often extend Dreams for adolescents who have been health issues, and jobs. A family works into the summer months. Some programs in the prison system include planning, with a case manager who assesses needs, center around music or sports. For extracking, skill development, and therapy. sets goals, and helps the family achieve ample, at Moulton, the children work on Urban Dreams is committed to them. Each time participants do homework for 45 minutes and then play the community. They provide something positive, such as seeking a game of soccer. opportunities for voter registration, prenatal care or finding a job, they earn In addition to after-school and voter education, and veteran assistance. points that go toward incentives such as summer programs, the children are Urban Dream's motto is: "Together we free diapers and car seats. offered free dental medical care through will make it happen."



Creative Visions

Project turnaround

by Andrea Schmidt

When a prisoner gets out of prison, it would seem like a time of celebration. Rodney Benson, program director at Creative Visions, a non-profit agency in Des Moines, knows otherwise. As an ex-prisoner, Benson knows the obstacles prisoners face when they re-enter society. He says his biggest challenge was the same one ex-prisoners face today-- finding and keeping a job. "These kids get out, and they have no place to go," Benson says. They are ready to make changes in their lives, he says, but they get discouraged when they can't find a job. Parole officers check to photo illustration by Carol Highsmith make sure they find a job. If they don't after a certain amount of time, some are sent back to jail for a 30 to 60 day parole violation or to finish their so ex-prisoners get more one-on-one attention and are sentences, Benson says. held accountable. Benson is the director of what he calls Project Turnaround at Prisons are not doing enough to prepare prisoners to Creative Visions, which helps ex-prisoners find work and turn their re-enter the workforce, Benson says. When people come lives around when they re-enter society. out of prison unskilled, they have few options. This "People usually come here [Creative Visions] when they're at the leads some ex-prisoners back to the lifestyle that landed end of their rope," he says. Many have tried unsuccessfully to find work them in prison. In Washington, D.C., he says people through employment agencies. Some come to Creative Visions with come out of area prisons with skills in plumbing, only two weeks to find a job before their parole officer checks up on heating, and welding, and are able to find jobs all over them. Sometimes Benson doesn't have enough time to find them a job. the country. "They are getting $19-an-hour jobs," he "Give me a month," he says, and he can find an ex-prisoner a job. says. "I can assure you they're not going back to prison." When people come to Creative Visions looking for employment, But, when ex-prisoners can barely find minimumBenson assesses their needs, gets a criminal history, and determines wage jobs, they don't have as much motivation to stay their education level. They are taught interview skills and given tips out of prison. "They get out of prison, and life is just as on what to wear. Benson also helps them write a resume. Former tough, if not tougher, than it was before they went in," inmates can learn basic computer skills in Creative Visions' computer Benson says. "If you were to educate these men while lab. The goal is to prepare former prisoners for entry-level jobs. As they are in prison he can be proud of something when the program becomes more recognized in the community, Benson he is released. Show him how he can be productive in hopes to build relationships with local companies so they will turn to society." Giving ex-prisoners a sense of purpose is what Creative Visions for employees. they need to succeed, he says. Otherwise they go from The biggest challenge for ex-prisoners after getting a job is keeping one hopeless situation to another. it, Benson says. A lot of ex-prisoners don't have good work histories. Benson has worked at Creative Visions since 1999. They tend to jump from job to job. When they get tired of a job, they He says he used to terrorize the Des Moines community quit, and this doesn't look good on a resume. Benson stresses to his before he went to prison for assault charges. When he clients how important work history is. He teaches them the importance was released in 1993, he wanted to make a difference. of showing up to work on time. He urges them to stick with a job and Benson started working with Imam Ako Abdul-Samad, talk about any problems with a supervisor rather than quit. executive director at Creative Visions, to help the Benson and Patty Carlson, a job counselor at Creative Visions, work community north of downtown where he grew up. with 75 people per year. Benson says the program is intentionally small "It's powerful to come back and help," Benson says.



Ako Abdul-Samad

the '60s fighting for civil rights. This is what made the difference in his life. "I got caught up at 17 in a cause and have been there ever since," he says. "That's what helps me work with young people now because I know if you give young people a cause they will go for it." Abdul-Samad opened Creative Visions in 1996 to help at-risk youth and juvenile offenders by offering them role models and resources to make permanent behavior changes. Emulating his role models Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., AbdulSamad works to empower young people by giving them a cause. "These individuals come here because they want change," Abdul-Samad says. "And we [Creative Visions] provide the resources and everything they need to make their change, so when they make it, it is a permanent behavioral change instead of temporary."

Empowering youth in Des Moines

The staff at Creative Visions includes former gang members, drug addicts, and drug dealers. The only requirement, Abdul-Samad says, is that they stop all illegal activity and serve as good role models. "If you see your peers making a change in their lives, then you're more apt to believe that you can," he says. "If you see someone who comes from basically the same mold that you come from, and you watch them change their life around, then you know there is a possibility for you to do the same thing. That's our philosophy." Abdul-Samad's dream for Creative Visions is for it to become an institute that encourages graduation. "We don't want to just quick-fix people," he says. "We want to be a key to helping people be productive citizens in the workforce. We want you out of here, gone, so you can come back and give to the community."

Ako Abdul-Samad says he is living his dream every day when he walks into work and sees people changing their lives. photo by Diane Cutler

by Andrea Schmidt

Imam Ako Abdul-Samad, executive director of Creative Visions and a Des Moines School Board member, is a former Black Panther who grew up in

Misconceptions About Ex-Prisoners

Realizing they're not inherently bad

by Angela Daunis

Jose Ochoa doesn't look like a man who just served a 13-year prison sentence for gang-related activity. He immediately shakes my hand as I enter the Iowa Work Release Center for the interview. The black tear-shaped tattoo just beside his eye is the only noticeable sign of his past gang activity. His hair is pulled back into a sleek ponytail, and he's wearing khaki pants and a buttoned down shirt. Not exactly the rough look the public generally expects of an ex-prisoner. Ochoa thinks the public has several misconceptions about prisoners. One, that they're bad guys for life, and two, that they get lots of perks in prison. "They think we won't amount to anything. The media make it seem like if you're in prison that you have benefits like TV and cable," he says. Not true, says Ochoa, who spent nearly three years of his sentence in solitary confinement, a measure used by the prison to keep Ochoa away from other gang members. "A lot of it is just propaganda. The news blows things out of proportion," he says. Cheri Kelaher, whose son was murdered, can testify that prisoners aren't the bad guys most people think they are. She met Ochoa at a writing workshop, a restorative justice program at the prison in Newton. She and another mother, also a crime victim, visited the prison each week for three months and wrote alongside prisoners. "It was an eyeopener because before, my perception of an inmate was someone who is bad and who belongs in prison. I thought that they committed crimes and chose to do so because they were bad people." After meeting Ochoa and other prisoners like him, Kelaher realized not all prisoners are inherently bad. She learned about what life choices, or lack of choices, could lead them to the point that they would commit a crime. Kelaher realizes some inmates shouldn't be on the outside, but she also has hope for the future of others. One hope that many prisoner rights activists have is that ex-prisoners will get a fair chance finding a job. Kay Maher-Sharp, who works for Des Moines Area Community College, says the formerly incarcerated return from prison with a label from the public that encourages employer discrimination. "With the job market what it is, the employer has many applicants to choose from. Chances are they will choose the application with no criminal record. High self-image and self-esteem are necessary qualities to have when you are trying to present yourself as the best candidate for a position--these are generally lacking with ex-prisoners." Ochoa says that the biggest key to success after prison is to not be intimidated by misconceptions and to maintain a positive attitude. He says what made all of the rough times worth it was when one employer finally gave him a chance. "I'm part of this society, too. This is my community, too. I can't change the past because I was the creator of it, but I'm also the creator of my future, and I believe anyone can make it," he says.



Bridges of Iowa

by Callie Dunbar

A faith-based substance abuse treatment program

Mike Mitchell no longer feels alone. After being arrested many times for burglary and drug-related offenses, he has had enough. During his last stint in prison, Mitchell started reading the Bible and decided he needed to give up drugs--and prison--for good. Before he was released, he learned about Bridges of Iowa, a privately funded, non-profit drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for convicted non-violent felons. Mitchell decided to change his life and enter the program upon his release. Bridges of Iowa is a faith-based substance abuse program designed to stop the cycle of crime and drug abuse and to reintegrate men into society after prison. Participants are non-violent, convicted felons. To be accepted, applicants write a letter explaining why they want to come, what they bring spiritually, and what they want to get out of the program. Because the program is about reintegration, applicants must acknowledge their addictions. Prisoners who deny their problems or say they are being forced to enter are not appropriate candidates. "They have to want to find a spiritual path," says Billie Wade, Bridges of Iowa program manager. Once they've entered, participants must give up everything that led them on a destructive path: old friends, former residences, favorite hangouts, anything that had a negative impact. During Phase One and Two, participants live at the facility. In Phase One, they receive chemical dependency treatments, attend criminalthinking classes with a counselor, participate in recreational activities, and do community volunteering. They also attend on-site Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and focus on strengthening their faith. Phase One lasts 90 days and is free. Participants must stay on Bridges of Iowa's grounds, but can receive passes to attend worship services elsewhere. During the 90-day Phase Two, participants are partially reintegrated into the community. They find full-time employment or go back to their old jobs. "Some former employers are delighted to have them back because they were such good workers," Wade says. Once they find a job, they pay weekly for housing and meals. Participants continue to receive treatment for substance abuse and to reduce their criminal thinking. They also develop a transition plan, which helps them find a home once they leave the program. The last six months of the program, Phase Three, is devoted to aftercare. Participants have their own housing and work, but visit Bridges weekly to meet with a counselor. Ed Bradford, a program counselor, says Bridges works because participants are given structure and guidelines. They learn how to be patient and to confront destructive behaviors, thanks to meetings with staff and life skills management training. Bradford calls Bridges a "therapeutic community" because the staff tries to take a backseat and let participants hold each other accountable. After only two months at Bridges of Iowa, Mitchell enjoys being around the other participants and counselors. He is developing his resume, giving weekly presentations in his chemical dependency class, and rebuilding a relationship with his family. Eventually,

The Other Way

Helping prisoners overcome addiction

by Katie Cox

The Other Way (TOW) is a six-month, licensed, residential substance abuse treatment program at Clarinda prison. Thanks to a federal government grant, it has expanded from a two-phase to a three-phase program in the last 20 years. TOW started out with 80 participants, and now serves 210 prisoners at once. The program aims to help reduce recidivism. The program begins with a 30-day period where participants are assigned personal counselors and meet with other program participants. "This gets them ready for therapy in small groups," says Roxanne Phillips, treatment service director. Participants receive information on alcohol or drug issues and go through a workbook in the afternoons. This introduction prepares them for the intensive months of work that lie ahead. Phase Two is open-ended. It can take anywhere from three to five months to complete, depending on the individual's progress and feedback, which their individual counselors determine. "We focus on the individual and their specific issues," Phillips says. Inmates receive help to combat drug and alcohol addictions at that time. Each participant must pass a daily room inspection before attending group therapy sessions. She gets a daily thought to read and focus on during group discussion. This daily thought encourages them to actively participate in group sessions and keep a positive attitude. Each person spends the evening with a packed schedule that includes Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous support groups and time to discuss personal alcohol and drug issues with each other. TOW work takes up most of a participant's day and runs Monday through Friday. During the final, six-week phase, participants examine relapse issues while maintaining a job inside the prison



Mitchell wants to work with children, and hopes Bridges will guide him in the right direction. Dan Sorter has the same confidence in the program. Sorter entered two other treatment centers before Bridges. He believes Bridges will work because it is faith-based. "We can count on each other for help. We work as a community," Sorter says. Although Sorter has a better attitude, is more productive, less stressed, and physically healthy now, he has relapsed twice since Residents at Bridges of Iowa grow spiritually while learning how to overcome their addictions. entering the program in August photo by Diane Cutler 2002. He says his relapses occurred because he was too comfortable in aftercare. He missed his Phase Three (as of January 29, 2004). Wade hopes weekly sessions, believing he could re-enter on his own. Sorter now Bridges can expand to provide more services to more knows the importance of the structure Bridges gives its participants. participants. She measures the program's success in He lives at Bridges and holds a construction job. All the work has been different ways--by the number of people who complete worth it, he says, because he's working for something better in his life. it and successfully re-enter, or even just by a The program is small: a maximum of 30 participants can be participant's improved outlook on life. enrolled in both Phases One and Two, and currently 18 men are in

"Once they've entered, participants must give up everything that led them on a destructive path: old friends, former residences, favorite hangouts, anything that had a negative impact."

facility. Relapse issues are covered on an individual basis and are determined according to each participant's specific needs. These issues include anger management, addiction problems, and abuse. This phase is finished just before participants meet with the parole board. Clarinda does not have statistics on the number of participants who relapse after their release. However, prison officials have seen positive results from the program. "Some former inmates have finished their high school educations, gotten college degrees and started careers," says Phillips.

Drug Control by the Numbers

· From 1994 to 2001, there was a 49 percent increase in drug-related arrests. · For every 100,000 people arrested in 2001, 462.7 arrests were for drug offenses. · From 1999 to 2002, drug-related convictions increased 34.7 percent. · Drug cases represented 22% of convictions in 2002. · From 1996 to 2003, screening/admissions for treatment of a primary substance other than alcohol rose 26 percent. · On any given day, approximately 700 prisoners are involved in a licensed, prison-based substance abuse treatment program.


Excerpted from Iowa's Drug Control Strategy 2004


Bernie Lorenz

by Angela Paneck

Recovery with dignity

STAR Program

by Katie Cox

Therapeutic substance abuse program


"It's easy to go to prison," says Rachel*, 41. But Mary Werner has a history of unhealthy relationships, some supporting herself and staying clean from drugs outside physically and mentally abusive, and an addiction to narcotics. She of prison is a much harder task. Rachel and more than knew if she didn't change her ways, she would die. 900 other women have found help at Bernie Lorenz. Sisters Together Achieving Recovery (STAR) is a licensed Bernie Lorenz Recovery House is a non-profit, therapeutic substance abuse program at Mitchellville prison. licensed substance-abuse halfway house in Des Moines It is designed to help inmates overcome substance abuse and that supports women recovering from alcohol and prepare for successful re-entry by developing coping methods drug addiction. and rational thinking. "Bernie Lorenz is a bridge to help the women STAR is helping Werner change her ways. "We learn healthy transition to society," explains Patricia Willis, a communication, and they teach me how to set my boundaries and counselor. Full-time licensed counselors help women focus on my self- esteem issues," says Werner. find jobs, continue their education, and obtain medical Inmates also take classes such as criminal conduct and substance help. They also act as advocates when they deal with the abuse where participants learn proper social behavior and informaDepartment of Human Services or probation issues. tion about addictions. "We are also piloting a new program Bernie Lorenz can house up to 17 women. More than that deals with relationship issues and childhood sex abuse. Unfortuhalf have been arrested recently. And 65 percent have nately, more than 70 percent of these ladies have issues in this area. a psychiatric diagnosis that complicates recovery. This These need to be addressed so they can go out and act pro-socially," may include depression, anxiety, personality disorders, says Jill Dursky, treatment services director at Mitchellville. The pilot and post-traumatic stress disorder. program will become part of the existing STAR program. Grief and loss issues are common for addicts who Participants say they learn how to build trust and respect with have spent time in prison. "I lost my kids and I lost their counselors and other participants. "The classes are important myself in the drug world," says Sue, 37, another Bernie because they teach us how to change our moods through our Lorenz resident. "I knew when I was going to prison I thought process," says Tonya Boyer, another program participant. was going to work as hard as I could to reconstruct my The program also encourages healthy relationships in all aspects life and get it back on track." of the participant's life. "We get a lot of love and support that we When women come to Bernie Lorenz, counselors work with them to develop a recovery plan. The targeted length of stay is three and a half months, but actual personnel, financial aid, Des Moines Area Community College (to length of stay is determined on an individual basis. As obtain GEDs), and job placement services for training. long as the women meet the criteria for the level of care Bernie Lorenz encourages family relationships where possible. "We Bernie Lorenz is licensed to provide, they may stay. meet with significant others, parents, and adult children to determine A variety of public funds and private donations fund what's gone well, what areas need work, and to make sure that when the program. Client fees are based on a sliding scale [residents] leave, they go back to a safe environment," O'Riley says. determined by the government. Most women are "I gained a support system through Bernie Lorenz," Sue says. "You referred through other treatment programs, including go through all those years being irresponsible. Then you change your prison drug treatment programs. life in prison, or start to." Bernie Lorenz emphasizes "recovery with dignity." Bernie Lorenz is just the beginning of recovery. When women leave Residents are Bernie Lorenz, they may have years of struggle ahead. responsible for But they may find inspiration from the real Bernie "I lost my kids and I lost cooking and cleaning, Lorenz, a disabled woman and former alcoholic from and must work or central Iowa with chronic lung disease who died in myself in the drug world." continue their 1976 after more 20 years of sobriety. Throughout education. They are her hardships, she continued to help other alcoholic required to attend daily group meetings where women, opening her home and giving them a place to live and food. counselors help tackle topics including community, When asked about success rates, O'Riley hesitates. "To me, if life skills, food preparation, relapse prevention, one person completes the program and lives a healthy life, that's and art therapy. successful,"she says. Counselors at Bernie Lorenz emphasize corrective It's a challenge that Sue and Rachel aspire to meet. "We can't change thinking, decision-making, and realistic goal setting. the past," Rachel says. "But we can better the future." They also help women make use of community resources linking them to medical and mental health *Names of residents have been changed


never had before," Werner says. The inmates spend 10 to 12 weeks learning about re-entry issues, including how to interact with their children and families. Those who complete this program material earn three family visit days. Their children, accompanied by their caregivers, come and spend three hours during each visit with them. "It gives us a chance to see how the ladies interact with their kids," says Dursky. Inmates are also taught how their behaviors have affected their communities, family and friends, and victims. Four times a year victims of crime give guest lectures. "Individual counselors help each inmate work out issues through readings, writing assignments, and discussion groups. The inmates also role-play high-risk situations. Then they take what they have Tonya Boyer and Mary Werner meet with a counselor to develop an action plan for substancelearned and turn it into an action plan," free living. photo by Erika Nortemann says Dursky. More than 120 inmates have STAR receives 75 percent of its funding from the federal successfully completed the STAR program at government, and the state funds the rest. The federal grant will expire Mitchellville in the last two years. One-hundred of in two years. If the STAR program is to continue, alternate funding those have been released from prison. Only seven have must be found for the years ahead. returned to prison.

House of Mercy

by Alison Griffin

Helping women and children

Jessie lived each day as if it were her last. She routinely got high off crack cocaine, her drug of choice. To support her dope addiction, she prostituted herself. Her reckless lifestyle landed her in prison four times. Two attempts at treatment failed after only a few months each time. Then Jessie found House of Mercy in Des Moines, Iowa's largest provider of free 24-hour transitional housing and services for women undergoing treatment for substance abuse, including former prisoners. For Jessie, 30, what motivated her to become sober was her eightmonth-old son Anthony. House of Mercy offers programs for chemically dependent women that house approximately 60 women, half of whom live with their children on site. These strive to get clients off drugs and teach positive parenting skills and self-sufficiency through counseling and other treatment programs. House of Mercy also offers a residential program for families that focuses specifically on homeless women and their children, and another for pregnant or parenting teenagers. House of Mercy's free medical clinic operates 40 hours each week, serving 500 central Iowans each month. The medical clinic offers free pediatric care, gynecological services, ophthalmologist visits, and dental care made possible by dentists and medical professionals who volunteer their services. Developing strong parenting skills and maintaining the family unit remains at the top of House of Mercy's list of priorities and goals for residents. House of Mercy believes family togetherness is a major component of the healing process, and that's why they provide individual and group counseling sessions, parenting skills classes, and communication lessons. Women are asked to make a minimum 12-month commitment to a specific program and can stay up to two years. Jessie decided to enter House of Mercy 13 months ago and hasn't looked back. Now she has a full-time job as a waitress, attends meetings with her private counselor and educational employment counselor, and plans on enrolling in college courses next fall, pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner. Jessie says she now knows what she wants. She lives each day with promise for the future.



Corinthian Baptist Prison Ministry

Connecting women prisoners with faith

by Sara Reimer

Every fourth Sunday evening, 25 volunteers from tell their stories, Parker realizes that their misfortunes could happen Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines pile into to anyone. "A lot of the women are not any different than we are, but church vans and prepare to share their faith with something in their lives caused them to make a wrong turn," she says. about 100 prisoners at Mitchellville prison. Chosen Corinthian Baptist is one of many churches and faiths that each week through a lottery system, the prisoners pack participate in prison ministry. Most Mitchellville prisoners are the year-and-a-half-old chapel on prison grounds to Christian, but there are also Jews, Native Americans, Muslims, and receive spiritual teachings Wiccans. A Catholic mass is held and guidance from at Mitchellville every Sunday dedicated volunteers. "For some prisoners it's their first time morning. Two Protestant services Diann Walls Kipper, are held on Sunday evenings. experiencing love and respect." Corinthian Baptist's A Native American consultant, church coordinator and a Muslim volunteers, Wiccan prison ministry volunteer, volunteers, and a Rabbi visit says the Mitchellville women are always eager to when needed. More than half of the 500 incarcerated women in participate in religious activities. Sometimes they read Mitchellville participate in a religious service. poems they've written, give testimony, and provide each To further support the women, volunteers offer Bible studies, lead other with encouragement. meditation classes, and spend time in the religious library with Rev. Pam Parker of Corinthian Baptist preaches to prisoners. Occasional weekend seminars also are designed to help the prisoners during the services and says the program has women grow in their faith. Interested volunteers can submit an influenced not only the prisoners' lives, but also her application to Mitchellville and attend an hour-long orientation life. "Once you hear the prison door snap behind you, session before volunteering. it has an emotional impact on you," Parker says. "You Parker has seen how the prison ministry can help change a see the women and think, `She could have been my best prisoner's life, how the love and support from volunteers helps a friend in college.'" After listening to many of the women prisoner's recovery. Many women in prison have had their children

Taking his faith behind bars

by Lynn Freehill

Pastor Derek Bastian


Pastor Derek Bastian dreams of creating a residential program in Des Moines modeled after a Washington, D.C. program. photo by Carol Highsmith

When Pastor Derek Bastian contemplates ministering to prisoners, he is mindful of a Bible passage in which Jesus attends to his followers' practical and spiritual needs. Preaching to a hillside crowd, Jesus realizes the listeners are hungry and stops his sermon to feed them loaves of bread and fish. "Jesus was able to lead that crowd into a new spiritual understanding by first meeting that physical need," Bastian says. A pastor at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Des Moines, Bastian has taken his faith behind bars throughout his 15-year ministry. "In the black church experience, you cannot be a pastor without going into the prisons," he explains. So Bastian often accompanies men from his congregation who lead Bible study in the Fort Des Moines Correctional Facility each Thursday. He volunteers as a chaplain at the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center, and he regularly speaks at the Fifth


taken away and have families who want nothing to do with them. Mitchellville Chaplain Kay Kopatich, who has worked with the program for 12 years, says a prisoner's spirituality is important to overcome losses. "After religious seminars, many will realize for the first time that people love them," she says. "For some prisoners, it's their first time experiencing love and respect," she says. "It can be life changing." To help the women after they've left prison, Parker is working on a ministry to keep the women on the right track. She hopes to break the "generation curse" of women in the same family who end up in prison. Parker knows a grandmother, mother, and daughter-- three generations of women in prison. She wants ex-prisoners' children to know they don't have to follow that path to crime. The Corinthian Baptist Church ministry helps Mitchellville prisoners connect with their faith and take steps to improve their lives. "Most of the women are not strangers to religion," Kopatich says. "They are coming back to their roots and faith they had earlier in life."

Richard Harrell leads an opening prayer for prisoners at Mitchellville prison. photo by Erika Nortemann

Judicial Circuit's "Restorative Justice Victim Impact Sessions," letting criminals know how it feels to be victimized. Bastian experienced crime firsthand when his college home was burglarized. But Bastian dreams of doing even more to help inmates and ex-prisoners. Like Jesus, he wants to help people meet their basic needs. For former prisoners, this means housing and employment. "Our focus is on those people who do come back into the community, and how to stop that revolving door effect," he says. "How do we give them a second chance and give them hope?" The pastor has seen many prisoners find God while incarcerated, only to slip back into bad habits once they leave. Although St. Paul Church sometimes covers the $70 weekly rent at the Des Moines YMCA for the recently released, it's not always enough to prevent them from resisting the lure of their old environments, Bastian says. Sometimes they leave town. Sometimes the church loses track. Watching former prisoners drift away rather than settle and successfully hold jobs has convinced him of one thing: "We need some real, tangible things that can keep them on that straight and narrow," he says. What Bastian wants is a residential program that will train about 10 former inmates every 12 months to re-enter society. It would offer

encouragement, with daily meditation and positive reinforcement; but also be no-nonsense, with urine testing and around-the-clock supervision. Participants would accomplish goals together and work on a special project--maybe building and restoring furniture, Bastian says. A colleague of Bastian's at an African Methodist Episcopal church in Washington, D.C., runs such a program, and Bastian is eager to duplicate it in Des Moines. He's confident he could find the grants and volunteers for counseling and job training. Yet the plan is far from becoming a reality, he says, because money for housing isn't available, given the church's $323,000 annual budget. Bastian has searched for a year and a half, but he hasn't yet found grants or other funds for a program facility. Still, Bastian pledges not to give up. "It's not hard for me to keep up hope. You come to a point where you know you can do more and you want to do more... but if the pieces aren't there, you can't move forward yet," he says. "It isn't hopeless--it's just hard."



Rev. Anne Moats Williams

Ministering inside the walls

by Tanner Stransky

Rev. Anne Moats Williams' ordination as an 12 years at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Anamosa, and six years at Episcopalian priest was unusual. Normally, during the Anamosa State Penitentiary--contemplating ordainment. traditional "laying on of hands" portion of Episcopalian Williams was drawn to the ministry by people's need to be forgiven ordinations, only clergy are allowed to lay hands on the and granted "value in God's eyes." "Being a priest would add another soon-to-be priest. validation to that kind of ministry," she says, "Whether I did it or someBut a sea of prisoners, friends, and family surrounded one else did it, it was important they have someone to be God's agent to Williams. All the people in the chapel were connected to help them realize they are part of God's plan and children of God." Williams with their hands touching her or another person in the crowd. "'Oh no, I couldn't do that. I'm a woman, I'm small-- Williams, 57, was ordained it's a male prison.' Those were my exact words." November 23, 2003, in the Anamosa prison chapel among the men she chooses to serve, as well as guests from Williams started working at the prison seven years ago. "I knew that the outside. While she knelt before the bishop, clergy, parish ministry wasn't something I was really called to do. People said, and the team of people who helped prepare her for `What about prison ministry? You live in the area,'" Williams says, the ordination, in an unusual move, Bishop Alan "`Oh no, I couldn't do that. I'm a woman, I'm small--it's a male prison.' Scarfe asked the congregation to participate by laying Those were my exact words." on their hands. But after a first visit, Williams was hooked, and she realized her call"Bishop Scarfe was inspired by the moment to let ing. She began holding a Sunday afternoon service every three months. everyone come and lay on their hands, not just the When she added a weekly Bible study, her ministry blossomed. clergy," Williams says, with a bright smile. "I wanted the prisoners to experience the Sacraments, and Although she was interested in the Episcopalian clergy especially the Eucharist," she says. When Williams was ready to be as an adolescent, it wasn't until age 56 that she decided to ordained, she wanted to hold the ceremony at the prison, but she be ordained. Williams spent years as a lay minister-- didn't think it was possible. However, Carol Potter, Anamosa's prison chaplain, worked out the details. Prisoners and 30 guests from outside the prison participated in the unprecedented ceremony--the first one inside a prison, as well as the first to involve inmates in the discernment. Three singers, an organist, and all prisoners, opened the ceremony with a hymn. Another prisoner later sang the Lord's Prayer. The place of her ordination is fitting because she's focused so much of her ministry on the prison. She works to connect clergy and other non-clergy in Iowa who work with inmates. Williams held Iowa's first-ever Ministry to the Incarcerated Conference in February to bring together all people who work with prisoners. Conducted in Urbandale, Iowa, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, participants discussed issues affecting prisoners and how to create a support network. "It was for anyone connected with incarceration--not only the people who were in jail or prison, but their family and everyone related," she says, "We tried pulling in the whole range of people. People who do volunteer work, but also judges, police, anyone who makes decisions that affect these people's lives." Williams hopes to have a conference every year to accomplish on a state level what the National Episcopal Prison Ministry conference does on a national level. Williams isn't afraid to tackle the huge social issues of crime and prisons. "Depersonalizing crime doesn't work to the benefit of deterring crime," she says. Williams' ultimate goal is to prevent ex-prisoners from ending up back in prison. She thinks she can do this with God's help. "I want to help people find God in their lives," she says. "I want them to find a faith community that supports them living their lives."



Bishop Alan Scarfe ordains Rev. Anne Moats Williams in front of a congregation of inmates and invited guests. photo courtesy of Episcopal Diocese of Iowa

Hansen House of Hospitality

By Callie Dunbar

Mario Hayslett is one of those people who has turned his work into his life. Being the director and manager of the Hansen House of Hospitality, is not just Hayslett's life--it's his passion. Hansen House is a non-profit halfway house in Des Moines for single men recently released from prison. Hayslett's passion for helping ex-prisoners developed from his own experiences. After a 15-year stint with drugs, Hayslett ended up in prison in Burlington, Iowa. During his time there, Hayslett renewed his faith. When it was time for him to leave, he knew he didn't want to go home to the community and friends who led him down the wrong path. Hayslett had heard about Hansen House and its success in helping men find jobs, housing, and faith. Hayslett was accepted into the home, and within 30 days, he found a full-time job at Papa John's Pizza and an apartment. He also began to mend his relationship with his family. Hansen House's board members and the Presbyterian minister who started the program, Robert Cook, saw Hayslett's progress, and asked him to join the board. Fellow board members were so impressed with Hayslett's contributions that they asked him to become director of the house in 2002. Board President Anne Bickell says Hayslett's strong work ethic and ability to accept and relate to other residents made him a logical choice. The moment someone enters Hansen House, Hayslett reminds him that he has three months to stay and should find employment within two weeks. Hayslett constantly reassures residents they can find success. He talks them through real life issues they may face in the future, like losing a job, and how to react to them appropriately instead of repeating the mistakes that sent them to prison. Hayslett says the techniques work. Most residents were in prison for charges including drunk driving, drugs, or robbery. After leaving, 80 percent move to their own place, find employment, and stay drug-and-alcohol free, says Hayslett. "[Successful re-entry] takes more than just programs. It takes nurturing. It takes people around to say `I give a damn about you,'" Hayslett says. The program is successful not only because the men find support there, but also because it is the only facility in Des Moines of its kind--one where residents can live completely free of charge. The program is funded by grants, churches, and individuals. Hansen House receives approximately seven applications a week from men wanting a bed, yet the house only has room for ten. Because applicants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, many prisoners apply months before they leave prison.

Free transitional housing and support for men

Andre Hill, 43, heard about the program while in prison on extortion charges. At first, Hill was wary of living there because the house's location was near his old stomping grounds. But after hearing Hayslett's concern for him and thinking through his options, Hill decided the program was his best choice for a successful future. Since entering in December 2003, Hill has found employment and is rebuilding his relationship with his 18-year-old daughter. Hill attributes these positive changes to the friendships he has made at Hansen House. He says Hayslett and the other residents hold him accountable for his actions as if he were a part of their family. "Hayslett has given me a chance to be successful. The family relationship I have here is second to none." Hill tries to give back to the community as well. His passion is working with children and he does this through volunteering at the Eddie Davis Community Center in West Des Moines. Also, Hill and Hayslett recently visited a juvenile hall hoping to inspire the kids to learn from their mistakes. Hayslett says with society's help, more people can have stories like Hill's. Successful re-entry comes when men find structure, a positive and

Hansen House Director Mario Hayslett discusses rules and procedures with an incoming resident. photo by Erika Nortemann

safe environment, employment, a family support system, and faith. Both Hayslett and Hill believe Hansen House and programs like it can provide this system for recently released prisoners. When men leave Hansen House, Hayslett hopes they will maintain their relationships with residents, and especially with him. "The goal is to extend a hand. The men at the Hansen House aren't just human beings. They're my brothers and friends."



When Parents Go to Prison

The children left behind

by Angela Paneck

Brenda* started doing drugs to lose weight. Her crystal meth habit rapidly progressed from using to selling and running drugs until she was busted three years ago by an undercover cop. Unlike the stereotypical image of a burnt-out drug abuser, Brenda looks like the mom next door. But at 37, this mother of four has already put two children up for adoption, had her parental rights terminated for her 15-year-old daughter, and is fighting for visitation rights to see her 16-year-old daughter who is in foster care. Brenda's experience is not atypical. Studies show female prisoners are more likely to lose custody of their children than male prisoners. In October 2003, The Urban Institute Justice Policy Center reported that when fathers go to prison, almost 90 percent of their children remain with their mothers. However, two-thirds of incarcerated mothers were sole custodial parents before going to prison. When mothers go to prison, only 28 percent of their children go to live with their fathers, and almost 53 percent live with their grandparents. Family placement is the preferred option of parents, children, and the Department of Human Services (DHS). But it is not always an option. When a relative isn't available to care for the children, DHS steps in. Less than two percent of male prisoners' children end up in foster or agency care, compared to almost 10 percent of female prisoners' children. Iowa law requires DHS to consider the child's safety and locate the "best placement for furthering the long-term nurturing and growth of the child." Ideally, the child is returned home as soon as possible. But when a parent is in prison for an extended period of time, DHS must find an alternate permanent placement, and parental rights may be terminated. Under the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), if a child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, the state must file a petition for termination of parental rights (TPR) and seek a permanent adoptive family. There are exceptions, such as if relatives are caring for the child or if the termination would not be in the best interest of the child. "Exceptions are

Families in Transition

Better parents through better relationships

by Kari Carlson

Growing up, Mary Werner and Tonya Boyer were no strangers to abusive relationships. Now these two inmates at Mitchellville prison are taking advantage of a program that can help them learn how to be better parents through better relationships. Families in Transition (FIT) is an optional class in Mitchellville's Therapeutic Community designed to help inmates and their children develop healthy relationships and address issues facing mothers in prison. Run by state and federal funding, FIT teaches mothers skills like talking to their kids and helps them distinguish between discipline and abuse. The mothers also send their kids messages on videos so the children can see their progress ­ something that benefits both mother and child. "We could put anything we want on [the videos]," says Werner, who is 33 and has a 13-year-old son, "I [wrote] my son a letter about how I affected him, and I read that to him on the tape and sent it to him. He watches that tape over and over again." Along with parenting skills, participants interact with their children during three visits that occur during the 12-week program. During these visits, the prisoners use games and activities to try to re-establish a bond with their kids. "It's a positive surrounding," says Boyer, a 32-year-old with four children, "There's other kids there to make it more comfortable and less confusing. You get to take pictures with them, and you get a little bond with them before you're released, and that's important."



Mary Werner and Tonya Boyer discuss parenting skills learned at Mitchellville's Families in Transition Program. photo by Erika Nortemann

determined on a case-by-case basis," says Mary Nelson, administrator for DHS's Division of Adult, Children, and Family Services. "The reason not to file for TPR must be compelling and based on the child's needs." Brenda is lucky. Despite Brenda's drug problems and incarceration, her mother remains a source of support and encouragement. When Brenda lost custody of her 15-year-old daughter, her mother stepped in, was awarded custody, and filed for adoption. Meanwhile, Brenda works hard to maintain a clean life outside of prison. "My mom's really proud of me right now," she says. And even though Brenda's not a child anymore, you can tell how much this means to her. *Last name withheld by request

Both Boyer and Werner say the FIT program has helped them pursue their goals. Boyer wants "to be the mother who spends quality and unconditional time" with her kids. Werner aims to be loving and devoted like her own mother. "I want to be stable and dependable and give [my son] the stability I've never photo illustration by Diane Cutler given him before," she says. "I want him to feel well-loved; that he can always come to me no matter what. For anything." By helping women Urban Institute Statistics: become better mothers and · In the United States in 1999, about 2 percent of all minors--more than 1.5 million children-- helping children prepare had a parent in state or federal prison. for their mothers' return · 93 percent of incarcerated parents are male home, FIT reduces fear and · 89 percent of incarcerated parents are males held in state prison uncertainty. This makes it · Nearly 60 percent of mothers and 40 percent of fathers report having weekly contact with easier for families to adjust, their children while incarcerated. and makes re-entry more · Parents serving time for violent offenses: 46 percent of fathers, 26 percent of mothers successful for the parent. · Parents serving time for drug offenses: 23 percent of fathers, 35 percent of mothers · More than half of incarcerated parents in state prison have been previously incarcerated.



Project Dad+

by Jennifer Devine

Maintaining relationships between children and parents

Some children's biggest problem is without confrontation. Both parents who don't want their children to be alone choosing a cereal in the morning. For must be willing to participate. with the non-custodial parent. Parents others, it's piecing together a life torn Mediation for parents is another and children meet in a private room apart by their parents' separation. When service provided by Project Dad+. located inside Generations Inc., equipped parents split up, children can end up as Mediation provides a less expensive with a kitchen, living room, and a special the biggest losers, carrying the effects for alternative to the court system for room for infants and toddlers. the rest of their lives. resolving visitation problems. Parents sit Visits can also be arranged in But it doesn't have to be that way. down with a neutral third party to another Polk County location both Project Dad+ is a central Iowa negotiate visitation plans or resolve parents choose. "This program often organization working to create better visitation issues. allows the non-custodial parent a futures for children trial period while going of dissolved families, through the court "Adolescents who have fathers including children system. Through whose parents have supervised visits, we actively involved in their lives are less likely to been incarcerated. are able to report on engage in sex and other risky behaviors." Their main goal is to how good a parent they help children gain really are. Otherwise, quality access to both parents. By helpProject Dad+ also provides supervised relationships between the child and the ing the parents, the organization also visitation, giving non-custodial parents non-custodial parent may drop by the hopes to help the children. "Adolescents the opportunity to be a part of their wayside. Some children just wouldn't see who have fathers actively involved in child's life through monitored visits in their non-custodial parent during this their lives are less likely to engage in sex comfortable, home-like settings. It's for time," Kendall says. and other risky behaviors," says Famparents who have court-ordered superProject Dad+ also offers education ily Centered Service Program Manager vised visitation or for custodial parents programs for non-custodial parents. Free Mike Kendall. "Today, 25 million children grow up without a father. Forty percent of those children have not seen their fathers in more than a year, and more than half have never set foot in their father's home." by Amanda Wurzinger Project Dad+, a private, non-profit For prisoners, release offers a new beginning, a fresh start, a chance to program offered by Generations reconnect with their kids and do things the right way. But often, while they were Incorporated, which is funded through a incarcerated, their child support kept piling up, and their kids grew distant. So life federal Access and Visitation Grant, has a on the outside isn't as fresh as they hoped it would be. variety of services to help maintain This is a predicament many parents face when they leave prison. They have relationships between the child, or very little money, are restricted as to where they can live, discriminated against in children, and the non-custodial the hunt for a job, and often, they're thousands of dollars in debt. Talk about parent. Project Dad+ services try to help discouraging. In addition, outstanding child support payments can mean that non-custodial parents restructure their many privileges society offers, such as obtaining a driver's license, are revoked. lives after messy separations from their There were 1.4 million prisoners in state and federal prisons in 2003, and more families, including incarceration. than half were the parents of minors. One study in Massachusetts found that Project Dad+ works to connect 37 percent of the prison population there owed more than $20,000 in child parents and children. One service offers support. And the number of parents who owe keeps on growing. a neutral drop off and pick-up Iowa is one of the few states that views incarceration as a valid reason for location for a child's parents when reducing or suspending child support payments, but many men and women aren't contact between them is difficult or aware that this option exists. For those who are, the process can be cumbersome limited. Children can be exchanged and frustrating. First, a motion for reduction or suspension of payments must

The Price of Support

Child support debt can be overwhelming



monthly presentations to the public and Project Dad+ participants offer free legal advice, tips on navigating the child support system, advice about talking to children about drugs, and other important parenting issues. "We believe we better the well-being of children by giving the parents education," Kendall says. Project Dad+ tries to accommodate low-income families. Fees for all Project Dad+ services are determined based on income. "More money from outside grants would lower, and possibly eliminate, costs for people seeking help," says

photo illustration by Erika Nortemann

Kendall. Until then, the program strives to keep the costs low, focusing on providing support for families with nowhere else to turn for help.

"Sometimes, this program is the only bridge between children and the noncustodial parent," Mike says.

Child Support Payments:

Laws/Policies: Court-ordered child support payments continue to add up while a person is in prison. The only way to change this is to modify the court-order while in prison. If children are placed in foster care while a parent is in prison, the parent is charged a child support fee by the Department of Human Services. Potential Issues/Consequences: Most ex-prisoners do not know that they can request that Child Support Recovery reduce the payments that accrue while in prison. The overall obligation does not change, but the levels of payment do. However, this process is burdensome.

be filed before a prison sentence has been completed. Federal law prohibits state courts from modifying child support retroactively, so applying for a reduction at the time of release is too late. A "motion for forgiveness" can be done by mail, but a lawyer's help is recommended, which can be costly for a prisoner with little to no income. It can take anywhere from weeks to months for a court to decide. Beyond the child support issue, a prisoner's bond with his or her child may be strained or shattered due to imprisonment. Having a parent in prison has reverberating effects for a child. Immediate effects range anywhere from feelings of shame or social stigma to poor school performance, delinquent behavior, and weakened ties to the parent. Long-term effects can be questioning authority, negative views of police and social enforcers,

poor coping skills, more delinquent behavior, and intergenerational incarceration. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an entire family (mother, father, and six children) is currently in prison, each for different bank robberies. Studies from across the nation and in Europe show that about half the prisoners in juvenile systems have a parent who has been locked up. To try to reverse this, a few prisons are taking action. New York's Sing Sing prison began a program to teach fathers how to be parents while inside prison. During the program, inmates read books by psychologists, attend family therapy sessions, and receive support and encouragement. There are similar programs in Texas, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. Upon re-entry, parents must work to rebuild their relationships and make up for lost time with their children. Those who owe child support re-enter society with a double challenge: to reconnect with their children and repay their debt.



Spectrum Resources

by Erika Hoefer

Giving ex-prisoners the tools to succeed

If it takes a community to make a man, Spectrum White says Spectrum helped him to focus on what he considers Resources of Des Moines is trying to build an army. most important. "I had always planned on going to school, but there Jerald Brantley founded Spectrum Resources in 1995 to are times when you're like `Maybe school's not going to be it for me,'" help Des Moines give "men and women the tools they he says. "If you don't have an initial plan and life is just going any need to rebuild their lives and become independent, old way, you're going to end up back in something that you don't productive members of want to be involved in," White society through basic job says. Spectrum gave White the training and trade skills." support he needed to further "Spectrum realizes that the only Spectrum Resources tries his education. He is now a way to compete with gangs, guns, to build character from senior computer science and the ground up through math major at Drake and drugs is to enhance youth its construction job University, and works at development intellectually, socially, training and apprenticeSpectrum as a math instructor physically, and economically." ship programs. and assistant administrator. Spectrum's main goal At Spectrum, students is to help successfully take diagnostic tests to transition ex-prisoners and troubled youth into the determine their knowledge of subjects like math, power tools, and community. Life skills such as punctuality, goal setting, driving skills. Those with high scores can skip the basics and move and work are emphasized. "You get your plan, stick to more challenging studies. with it, anything that goes away from your plan is cast During preliminary training, students study basic safety, off to the side. You got to stick to what you're planning construction math, hand tools, power tools, blueprint reading, and on and set realistic goals for yourself," says William basic rigging. "You can usually get through two modules in a week or White, an assistant administrator and former prisoner so. In a month you can finish up your core curriculum, and then after who used Spectrum's services. that you'll go into the actual construction," White says.


Iowa Prison Industries

Skills that matter

by Jenny McCuen

Inside the prison walls, inmates must find ways to fill the empty hours. Iowa Prison Industries offers jobs to inmates as a time-filling option. Differences between working inmates and non-working inmates are apparent, says Doug Hillman, Iowa Prison Industries board member. "There's a difference in the atmosphere going down a cell block and going through an [Iowa Prison Industries] operation," says Hillman. That difference is pride. Hillman talks about an inmate translating science textbooks into Braille for Iowa Prison Industries and says, "You can tell he's proud of what he's doing." Iowa Prison Industries is the "work arm" of the Iowa Department of Corrections and has 19 businesses operating inside prisons across Iowa. Inmates make products from dorm furniture to plastic bags that are sold to non-profit organizations and Iowa government organizations. Iowa Prison Industries receives no state funding. Instead, it runs like any other business, making money from products it sells. The Iowa Prison Industries showroom, located at in Des Moines, is open to the public. Iowa Prison Industries hires employees just like any other business. Inmates must apply for their jobs and be interviewed by Director of Iowa Prison Industries Roger Baysden."The only way for [inmates] to get a job is to demonstrate willingness to work and learn," says Baysden. He can only hire 900 inmates. These jobs are highly sought after because inmates are employed for eight hours a day and make 90 cents per hour compared to 30 cents per hour working in the cafeteria or laundry room, says Hillman. Once hired, inmates are trained for their jobs, whether it's answering phones, welding barbeque grills for state parks, or translating textbooks. Training and skill development is the main focus of Iowa Prison Industries. Not only do the inmates learn skills that they can use in workplaces beyond prison, they learn to be responsible, manage money, and take pride in their work, says Hillman. Working inmates also contribute to the Iowa economy. They earn wages and pay taxes, child support, and room


photo illustration by Carol Highsmith

The construction skills are taught hands-on and require teamwork. Students work together until everyone in the team passes, mastering each task. If Brantley sees that someone isn't using the tools correctly, he'll teach

the whole module over until they get it right. "They're actually going to do this for a living," says White. The program is a way for the students to give back to the community. The houses they build in their apprenticeships are designed for lower and middle class families, costing less than $100,000. One program graduate started his own construction company. "He just came back to us about a month ago seeing if we had anybody because he needed a worker to help him out," White says. Spectrum Resources accepts applicants through many work release program offices, as well at its Des and board. Part of their earnings must go into a savings account. Moines office. Class scheduling is flexible because many The rest can be used as spending money. students have second jobs. Inmates who work while in prison are much less likely to end up Spectrum Resources is about getting people off the back in prison, says Baysden. When the inmates are released, they streets and back into mainstream society. "We give the have transferable skills, money in savings, and a good work ethic opportunity to go on to whatever you want to do. Our that helps them get a job and keep it, says Hillman. focus is to work for construction, but if [our students] By focusing on the future, Iowa Prison Industries' vision extends decide they want to go somewhere else, well, as long beyond the cellblock to the state of Iowa. The mission is to ofas they're working, they're employed. That's really our fer programs that "will ensure offender's chances of a successful main objective," White says. "`Stay focused,' that's what return to society as tax-paying citizens upon their release." we tell people. If you want to get into the program, you The positive effects of Iowa Prison Industries are visible even have to stay focused and stick to your goals." before the inmates are released, say some correctional officers. They find these inmates easier to work with. "They don't have as much time on their hands and they want to keep their jobs," says Hillman. Inmates can lose their highly sought-after job with Iowa Prison Industries if they misbehave. These jobs also offer a break from prison. "[The inmates] go into something that looks like a factory for eight hours a day. They get a normal life for eight hours a day. It must feel good to escape reality," Hillman says.



Institute for social and economic development

Financial planning for low-income families

by Chandni Jhunjhunwala

Buying a house, starting a business, or finding employment when you have a prison record can be daunting. A criminal background check and severe poverty are among the challenges the formerly incarcerated face as they try to gain financial stability. Here's where the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED) can help. ISED provides a variety of financial planning services to help the formerly incarcerated during re-entry--after they get a job. Katy Muelhaupt, program manager at ISED, says most of her clients need basic advice on how to handle finances. "We talk about what's realistic. If they're working, we ask them about their income and what their financial obligations are, and then we help them with budgeting." Financial counseling varies by the individual, but debt is a common problem. Muelhaupt says that the top three types of debt her clients struggle with are court costs, restitution, and childsupport. "Together we sit down to review the debts and how much they can afford to pay each month," says Muelhaupt. She also teaches clients how to open a bank account and how to repair credit problems. She reviews their credit reports, helps determine highpriority payments, and calls creditors such as collection agencies or hospitals to set up payment schedules. Clients are encouraged to enter "Iowans Save," a program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered by ISED. The program helps families accrue savings by depositing money into special savings accounts that match each dollar set aside. Iowans can deposit up to $3,000 per individual and $8,000 per household. Muelhaupt says most of her clients do not have the funds for this program at first. But once they get a job, "They can save for a down-payment on a house, for tuition, or for capital to start a business," she says. Besides financial planning, ISED also provides a support system. It offers resources disenfranchised individuals need to become successful. It connects them to social services agencies for substance abuse counseling or teaches them job-related skills through its employment training projects. It can help them learn how to talk to probation officers or how much groceries cost. Muelhaupt says these might seem like trivial services, but they are invaluable for people who have often spent years behind bars.

Education Inside the Walls

Learning opportunities for prisoners

by Kari Carlson

Imagine you are a high school drop-out convicted of a for prisoner education is so small that each year the DOC can only serve crime and sentenced to prison. Few businesses will hire about 40 percent of the people who want it. people without diplomas. Before you leave, what educaWhile prisoners aren't required to take an education course, they tional opportunities are there in prison? are strongly encouraged to participate. "These are the people who More than you would think, but still not as many as hated school," says Kucera. "They dropped through the cracks and needed. With state funding, the Iowa Department of they think they can't do it." They tend to resist getting started; howCorrections (DOC) offers as many ever, Kucera says that "within prisoners as it can a free education "An average of 500 prisoners earn three to six weeks, they start to through programs administered by realize that they can do this, and G.E.D. certificates each year." local community colleges. A general by the end of six months, they equivalency degree (GED) program are eager to go. It becomes their is available, but because of inadequate funding, there's oasis in prison." Very few drop out or are expelled. a long waiting list and less than half who want a GED Why go to all this effort for prisoners? "Most people don't care if can get it. A literacy program is available for prisoners people in prison get an education," Kucera says. "They figure prisoners who test under the sixth grade reading level and special made mistakes while they were outside, and now they should pay for it." education is available for prisoners under 21. Prisoners But educating prisoners pays off. According to a 1998 study of can also take college correspondence courses, but these prisoners in Minnesota, Maryland, and Ohio, educating prisoners are not funded by the government. Prisoners must pay drastically reduces the chance they will end up back in prison. The the full cost of classes themselves. study shows every dollar spent on prisoner education saved taxpayers Last year, 460 prisoners earned a GED. An average of two dollars in reduced recidivism. That doesn't include savings in wel500 prisoners earn GED certificates each year, generally fare and court processing costs, nor does it take into account improved completing the program in six to nine months. employment rates and more taxes paid as more ex-prisoners get jobs. "Our biggest problem is the lack of money," says Nancy In Iowa, these education programs reduce recidivism by about nine Kucera, DOC director of prisoner education. The budget percent. "It's our duty to try to rehabilitate these people," says Kucera.




Microenterprise program trains female prisoners to become successful enteprenuers

by Chandni Jhunjhunwala

photos by Erika Nortemann

liberating their


elma Whiting waits patiently for the sheriff to unlock yet another door--one of many she must walk through to get to a conference room in the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women at Mitchellville, the state's only all-women prison. An African-American with short, curly black hair and big, luminous eyes, who wears a stark orange uniform, she speaks confidently and eloquently, like someone who has finally found herself. The harsh reality of living under lock-and-key for eight years and trying to create a normal life in such bleak circumstances takes a backseat for a while. Her eyes fill with pride as she describes her fledgling business--selling crocheted African-American toddler dolls. "It's a dream come true," says Whiting, 49. "I never knew I had that inside of me. I was just messing around with yarn and then it came out. It means being able to do something of my own, where I can see it build and grow in a community." Whiting is one of 71 women at Mitchellville who have graduated from the Institute of Social and Economic Development's (ISED) "Pathways to Progress" 13-week microenterprise training classes since July 2001. The program was started by ISED, an Iowa City organiza-

tion working to improve the socio-economic conditions of low-income Iowans. Also involved are the Iowa Women's Enterprise Center, which provides self-employment training, and the Iowa Department of Corrections, which received a $150,000 Ms. Foundation grant to help women prisoners become successful entrepreneurs. Marybeth Foster, ISED's development director, says Mitchellville's program is unique. "Most microenterprise programs don't target this inmate population, but statistics show that there was a huge increase in women going to prison in the 1990s. We also found that women coming out of prison find low-paying jobs and have [fewer] opportunities for employment." Whiting always wanted to start a business, but she didn't know how. In prison, she learned how to crochet and was hooked. She started creating her own designs. Soon she had made two AfricanAmerican dolls. Although she had vague ideas of selling dolls once she left prison, her business plans solidified much faster thanks to the microenterprise training program. During program classes,

Pathways to Progess participant Rocksand Pickard displays a portfolio of some of her graphic design projects.



learned her rough prototypes had profit-making possibilities. She also learned how to make a business plan for a niche product, research markets, and prepare budgets. "I realized there was something I could start with. With African-American dolls, there's not really a big business out there. You have the Barbies and all that, but I'm selling dolls made by an AfricanAmerican and you can see our culture in the dolls, the handtexture, hairstyles, dress, you name it," Whiting says. During the program's once-a-week workshops, counselors provide books, videos, and educational handouts. They also provide information usually unavailable to inmates--such as how to conduct market research. Students learn to make the most of their circumstances by using the prison environment to test their products. Whiting talks excitedly about her first miniforay into the business world at Mitchellville. Inmates were encouraged to showcase their products in a display at the prison. Whiting was in for a surprise--her dolls, priced at $35 each, sold out. "This is a very controlled environment and to see how many dolls went, how they moved so fast, I got a chance to deal with income coming in from the product, to make improvements and get good feedback, says Whiting." Using phrases like "controlled environment," and "improvements on products," Whiting sounds like a businesswoman-- efficient, creative, and marketing-savvy--brimming with plans for the future. She plans to diversify and create dolls with different ethnic backgrounds. She has already made sample Asian and Caribbean Island dolls. She also hopes to make clothing for people (not dolls) and home décor lines. Her advertising/marketing strategy is simple: her family will wear her clothes. She's positive this will spark interest. Whiting's experience reflects the microenterprise training program's goals: to equip women in prison with selfconfidence, financial strategies, and realistic goals so they can survive in the "real world." This support stretches beyond the

prison gates. Services are also offered to help women re-enter society. Each ex-prisoner works with two mentors, an ISED Small Business Advisor, and a community volunteer who helps her find community resources to flourish, financially, and personally. Self-employment is an important alternative for women like Whiting. Often, ex-prisoners have difficulty getting jobs because employers are turned off by their criminal records. They're forced to accept dead-end jobs with meager salaries that offer little hope of breaking out of poverty. And socio-economic barriers can lead ex-prisoners back to crime and prison. Whiting is confident she will have a brighter future. She has learned several ways to finance her start-up. She can qualify for a $700 grant if ISED decides her business plan is viable. She can build assets through the "Iowans Save" program, a special savings account started by ISED for low-income families that matches her deposits dollar for dollar. Another option is low-interest loans offered by ISED. Already, the Ms. Foundation has offered to set up her website and sell her creations through a novelty shop in Harlem, says Whiting. One of the public faces of the microenterprise program, Whiting has been featured in the Des Moines Register and several other Iowa publications. Her success has also had a quieter, more subtle effect on the women inmates around her, says Whiting. Whiting once thought she "wouldn't amount to anything," a common sentiment among women in prison. Now, other inmates have witnessed Whiting's ability to change her life. "It definitely encourages them. We have lots of conversations in the yard and I encourage them to bring out their ideas, bring out their dreams," Whiting says. To date, 128 women at Mitchellville have enrolled in the microenterprise training, 71 have completed it, and four have set up businesses. The new entrepreneurs include Rocksand Pickard, a petite Caucasian woman with light brown hair. Pickard, 41, started a graphic design business called "Images" after her release from Mitchellville in 2001. A designer and photographer, Pickard creates t-shirts, business cards, stationary, brochures, and invitations. Among her favorites are a PowerPoint presentation for a customer's spouse on his fortieth birthday, "get out of jail free" cards, and t-shirts for Harley Davidson fans featuring photographs of proud owners with their bikes. Soft-spoken and seemingly unperturbed by the commotion around her, Pickard sits in her house in Waterloo, Iowa, that is being renovated. Her children are waiting for the pizza deliveryman and her husband just returned home from work. She smiles at her children, apologizes for the mess, and spreads out samples of her work. "I work with everything," Pickard says. "Yes," 11-year-old Derek, chips in proudly, "Mom can do anything." Friends and family have been supporters--and customers. After her children spread the word


Velma Whiting shows off her hand-crocheted dolls. photo by Mary Chind/The Des Moines Register

about her new idea, she was inundated with requests for senior pictures and educational cards from high-school teachers and friends. However, Pickard says she couldn't have made it this far without the microenterprise training program. Convicted in 1998 for selling drugs, Pickard's future seemed bleak for the 42-month period in prison until she started taking microenterprise training classes, learning how to start and market a business. After she was released on parole, she started meeting with Helen Seenster, an ISED Business Advisor in Waterloo. "Helen's been really helpful. She hooked me up with a youth group and I designed T-shirts for them. She has introduced me to many people," says Pickard. Today, Pickard also works as an administrative assistant for an insurance agency. She hopes to get a $500 grant for "Images," from the Trickle Up, a non-profit organization, which has partnered with ISED to provide start-up capital for small businesses. She is working with ISED to make her business profitable and funding-worthy. "My business is stress-relief. It's something I enjoy doing and it helps pay the bills," Pickard says. "So far it's been really good." For Pickard and Whiting, the program has meant much more than simply paying the bills. Armed with self-sufficiency lessons and creative hobbies, they turned life's lowest point into an inspiring Pickard's daughter enjoys future plan.

showing off her mom's art at her high school.

Microenterprise Development Program:

by Chandni Jhunjhunwala

The Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED), a Des Moines-based non-profit organization that aims to improve the socio-economic conditions of low-income people, began the Microenterprise Development Program to help people find economic independence through self-employment. ISED counselors teach people entrepreneurial skills and strategies needed to plan, market, and manage small businesses. Participants receive technical assistance, financial advice, and help applying for project grants. Since 1988, the program has helped more than 1,900 Iowans jumpstart businesses and obtain $10.1 million in financing. The program targets five groups that have little business training and have not been able to secure help from other programs: · Refugees · Women · Rural residents · Limited-income families · Women in Corrections A main focus is Pathways to Progress, a microenterprise training program started in July 2001 for female prisoners at the Iowa Correctional Institution at Mitchellville. It is a joint project of ISED, the Iowa Women's Enterprise Center, which provides self-employment training to women across the state, and the Iowa Department of Corrections through a $150,000 Ms. Foundation grant. The program aims to

A Pathway to Progress

transform women into entrepreneurs. Marybeth Foster, director of development at ISED, says, "We thought it would be a good strategy to help women re-integrate in the community and for us to see if the Department of Corrections would consider microenterprise training as a vocational opportunity." Female prisoners take a 12-week course to learn the fundamentals of starting a business such as writing business plans, preparing budgets, managing finances, and building assets. After they leave prison, they're hooked up with ISED Small Business Advisors and local volunteers who help them start their businesses. However, to qualify for start-up financing through the program, participants must demonstrate successful re-entry into the community, employment experience, and provide a business plan. These services aim to keep women from sliding backwards when they're released from prison. Without them, female ex-prisoners are often forced to accept dead-end jobs and sink into poverty. Self-employment can provide a vital escape route from prejudice, impoverishment, and a criminal history. To date, 128 prisoners have been en31 rolled in training, 71 have graduated from the program, and four have set up businesses.



Family's Cause

The Lambertis didn't stop at tackling prisoner re-entry within their family ­ they decided to help others as well.


by Callie Dunbar


eet Don Lamberti. On the surface, his life has been a success. He's a father, grandfather, and co-founder of Casey's General Store, a chain of convenience stores in the Midwest. Dig a little deeper, though, and you discover a man whose family has endured the stress and heartache that comes from having a family member in prison. But Don and his family have grown stronger from the experience. Now they're helping prisoners who face re-entry get back on their feet. In September 1996, Don's world was turned upside down when one of his sons, Tony, was arrested on drug charges. Tony's substance abuse problem had gone too far, so he was charged with possession and intent to deliver. He was convicted and received a 25-year sentence. The family was devastated. Tony, who had just won custody of his three daughters, ages 14, 12, and 11, from his ex-wife, lost them again. He says he was depressed, angry, and spiritually lost. He faced a potentially long stay in prison and for the first few weeks of his sentence, he couldn't communicate with any relatives. But something changed in Tony. His physical, mental, and spiritual health improved. He started working out, reading the Bible and other spiritual books Don sent him, and building relationships with other prisoners. Tony developed a new outlook on life, and learned the importance of making positive choices. "After 90 days, I didn't want to think about any drugs," he says. Tony decided to help his fellow inmates. He wrote letters for prisoners who couldn't write and led Bible studies. Tony talked to prisoners about the importance of finding faith, which helped raise the number of prisoners attending chapel. "He was evangelizing whether he knew it or not," Don says. Tony says he tried to maintain a positive attitude not only for himself, but for his children. After a few weeks, his two younger daughters, Miquel Hadsall and Marissa Lamberti, visited Tony weekly. These visits helped the girls preserve their relationship with their father, and allowed them to grow spiritually by his side, says Miquel, now 19. Still, Tony's imprisonment took an emotional toll on his daughters. They were shuffled from home to home, first living with their maternal grandfather. Money was tight so after a year Miquel and Marissa moved in with Don and his wife while Megan moved in with her maternal grandmother. Miquel and Marissa eventually joined their older sister and maternal grandmother. In late 2000, Tony received a weekend furlough, which helped the girls remember what it was like having him around, just doing routine things. "When we went to bed at night, just hearing him brush his teeth was so nice," Miquel says. The furlough also helped the family mentally prepare for Tony's eventual release. After 45 months in prison, Tony was released in February 2001. In April, Miquel and Marissa moved in with him into Don's home. In June, Tony, Miquel, and Marissa moved into their own home again. At first, it was hard for the girls to accept Tony's rules


photos by Diane Cutler


because they hadn't known him as an authority figure for so long. But because the family maintained a positive relationship while Tony was in prison, Miquel and Marissa quickly adjusted. Tony became a supportive father, encouraging the girls to excel academically, yet letting them be independent . Despite many attempts, Tony was unable to mend his relationship with Megan. Tony's relationship with Miquel and Marissa is stronger than ever, says Miquel. Miquel admires her father's strength and looks to him as a role model for the way he has changed his life. She says he turned into someone she and Marissa could respect. Today, Miquel is married and a student at Drake University. Marissa is a high school senior and editor of her school newspaper. Tony's career got back on track too. After his release, he immediately went back to work as a concrete contractor, and his business has flourished. He remarried in August 2003. Though Tony attributes much of his success to family support, he says turning to religion helped. "If I hadn't renewed my faith, I wouldn't be doing as well as I am now," he says. While incarcerated, Tony saw that many prisoners didn't have the faith, family support, or economic means to succeed once they re-entered society--especially if this was their second or third time in prison. "They become so accustomed to [being in prison] that when they get out, they do something to get right back in," Tony says. Tony and Don discussed the many prisoners who could successfully re-enter society if given the chance. Tony told Don about Bridges of America, a substance abuse program in Florida for former prisoners that he'd read about. He thought a similar program could help prisoners in Iowa . Don traveled to Florida and witnessed the program's success and became determined to bring it to Iowa. Don put millions into starting the new program, Bridges of Iowa. Since early 2000, the program has

Tony still reads from the Bible that sustained him through prison.

been helping former prisoners find work, housing, and faith in themselves, the keys to successful reentry. (For more on Bridges of Iowa, see page #14) Today, Don is on Bridges of Iowa's board of directors. He says his calling is to help those with substance abuse problems. Don believes if prisoners receive faith-based treatment--no matter what their religion--they will find direction in their lives, which increases their chances of successful re-entry. Don's other son, Jeff Lamberti, is the president of the Iowa senate. Jeff hopes that his family's experience with prisoner re-entry will help raise awareness of the issue in the state legislature. He would like to see more of the state's money go into programs created to get prisoners back on their feet. "I hope I've been some small voice saying this is a place to put resources," Jeff says. Jeff says re-entry programs can help prisoners contribute to society. By helping employers see that ex-prisoners are reliable workers, re-entry programs can help prisoners find jobs, he says. This in turn helps reconnect prisoners with their families. "If we can lessen that financial stress, hopefully we can reunite families," Jeff says. Tony says renewing his faith while in prison helped him not only get off drugs, but realize the importance of family. "Prison was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me," he says.


Marissa and Larysa Lamberti play with Gabriel, Miquel's four-month-old son.

On the Road to Success

by Erika Nortemann

One simple word is leading Mark Church down the path of successful re-entry: responsibility. Although this is his third chance at a new life, it's the first time he's had a family to look after and something other than himself to care about. After serving his second sentence for theft, Mark was released from Fort Dodge prison on February 4, 2004. Upon release, he moved into Hansen House, where he could be surrounded by positive influences and people going through similar situations. I caught up with Mark as he finished his shift at Burger King. I wanted to capture aspects of his life that are helping him establish a place in the community again. These actions ensure he'll be around for his wife, Jen, and daughters, Kylie, 9, and Emily, 5.

I followed Mark to the library, and then to the Hansen House for a few minutes' rest. Then we headed to the YMCA for a quick workout before meeting with his parole officer. When I left him, he was going back to the Y to finish his workout before he went home to make dinner. The following Sunday, I met his family at Jen's church in Grinnell. "I have a lot more motivation to do the right thing because of the responsibilities I have now," Mark says. "Before, I didn't have a family or a wife. I didn't have those people to care for. I'm affecting others now, and I need to be there as a father and 35 35 as a husband."



37 37



It wasn't what I expected, going to prison. When I registered this spring for Community Writing, a class in which students and inmates write together at Mitchellville prison, I expected barred doors that would clang shut behind us. I expected window-less spaces, an airless

Going to

by Barbara Simpson

claustrophobia that I'd be able to overcome only by chanting, "It's only an hour, it's only an hour." I thought there would be badges. Buzzers. Multiple trips through the metal detector. I thought we'd be questioned as to motive and intention, items we might have concealed on our persons, like cough drops or extra pens. I expected to feel afraid. But we're not even inside the razor-wire fence, not really. We enter through the Administration Building, an unlocked redbrick structure that functions as the lobby for the prison. From a secure booth, uniformed Control Officers scrutinize monitors and oversee our signing-in. We're buzzed through a locked door of gray steel, walk down a narrow hallway, turn right at the visitor's room, pass through a regular wooden door--and suddenly it looks as if we've stepped into my first school, Monnier Elementary in Detroit. The tile floor is speckled brown and gray, tan bricks cover the bottom half of the walls, and the concrete stairs have a slight dip worn into the center. Room 201 is just a regular classroom, with regular folding tables and brown and orange plastic chairs. Faded orange blinds cover the large windows that let in the late afternoon sun. Powerpuff Girls, Hello Kitty, and Elmo posters adorn the walls. Picture books and stuffed animals, props for the parenting class that meets here once a month, crowd the shelves at the front of the room. It's not at all scary. As the volunteer coordinator promised, the inmates do look just like us. Some of them are young, with sweet faces. They look harmless. I can't help wondering what they've done. I remember the advice of the prison psychologist, who said, "It's not for us to judge. They've already been judged, and now they're doing their time." On our first visit, as we filed into the room, one of the inmates said, "Look at the coats!" It was bitterly cold that day. "I miss coats," said another. Then I realized it wasn't coats they missed; it was colors. The blues, pinks and maroons of our sweaters stood out against their denim, navy blue, and gray. And there are the rules: no cell phones, letter openers, or purses are allowed inside the prison; all class materials must be preapproved; no gifts, not even the loan of a pen. When we distributed


photo illustration by Erika Nortemann

the rules for responding to each other's writing, someone said, "We have enough rules." We quickly amended our hand-outs to read "Writing Workshop Guidelines." I don't know what offenses these women committed--they don't say, and we're not allowed to ask--but from the topics that appear in their writing--death by violence, child sexual abuse, suicide attempts-- it's clear that family and childhood mean different things to each of us. And I wonder: What happens when they return home? Will they go back to the same lifestyles they left behind? How can they develop a support network? What determines who rehabilitates and who becomes a repeat offender? Will writing help at least some of them? It's too soon to know what impact this class might have on the lives of these women--though one of them said that the workshop helped her grow--but I know that I care about what happens to them. If nothing else, perhaps we offer empowerment to women who currently have 39 39 little or no control of their environment. And that's not a bad thing at all.


Bernie Lorenz 4018 Kingman Blvd Des Moines, IA 50311 255-3373

House of Mercy 1409 Clark Street Des Moines, IA 50314 643-6500

Making Connections 1111 9th Street, Suite 290 Des Moines, IA 50314 280-1274

Boys and Girls Club

1350 E. Washington Avenue Des Moines, IA 50316 262-5695

Institute for Social and Economic Development 1111 9th Street Des Moines, IA 50314 283-0940


1300 21st Street Des Moines, IA 50311 280-6575

Bridges of Iowa 66 Gruber Street Des Moines, IA 50315 287-8255

Iowa Child and Family Policy Center Flemming Building 218 6th Avenue, Suite 1021 Des Moines, IA 50314 280-9027

Pace Juvenile Center

620 8th Street Des Moines, IA 50309 697-5700

Corinthian Baptist

814 School Street Des Moines, IA 50309 243-4073

Project DAD+

944 18th Street Des Moines, IA 50309 288-3334

Creative Visions 1343 13th Street Des Moines, IA 50314 244-4003

Iowa Department of Corrections 420 Watson Powell Jr. Way Des Moines, IA 50309 242-5702

Spectrum Resources

1700 Keosauqua Way Des Moines, IA 50311 288-1248


321 East 12th Street Des Moines, IA 50319 242-5823

Iowa Department of Human Services 1200 University Avenue Des Moines, IA 50314 283-9238

Upward Bound 1100 7th Street Des Moines, IA 50314 248-7259

Des Moines Health Center

Urban Dreams 1410 6th Avenue Des Moines, IA 50314 288-4742


1111 9th Street, Suite 190 Des Moines, IA 50314 244-9136

Iowa Workforce Development 215 Watson Powell Jr. Way Des Moines, IA 50309 281-9616

Going Home 1100 7th Street Des Moines, IA 50314 697-7700

Wilkie House

900 17th Street Des Moines, IA 243-7817

Life Skills 1100 7th Street Des Moines, IA 50314 697-7700

Hansen House

1521 6th Avenue Des Moines, IA 50314 282-0549

YMCA+ YWCA 101 Locust Street Des Moines, IA 50309 282-9622



Re-enter: The Social Cost of Incarceration

40 pages

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