Currently, I am working on a genealogy project for inmates. As a member of the Mid-Willamette Valley Genealogy Society I was invited to volunteer to assist inmates to research their genealogy. The notion is that inmates who have knowledge of their family roots and a connection with a community have a better attitude and better perspective on life and are more motivated to change. Inmates with knowledge of their family history are reported to have a lower recidivism rate. My research is from home on the internet and is coordinated with the prison ministry volunteer.
Our Mid-Willamette Valley St. Vincent DePaul Council participated in a grant from the federal government 3 years ago for a mentoring program for inmates returning to the community. The program was coordinated through Marion County. One year after the grant expired, our Council was contacted by the Department of Justice requesting detailed information regarding the recidivism rate of the inmates involved in the program. Shari Crawford, SVDP Emergency Services Director spent a year collecting data from Marion County in order to satisfy the requirements of the Department of Justice. We received an email June 19, 2014 from the State Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Justice saying the “grant has been closed since March 7, 2014”. We had been holding funds in the amount of the grant in reserve awaiting approval of the grant closing, as we had been instructed that if we could not provide necessary documentation we would have to repay the grant.
One of our Queen of Peace SVDP Volunteers, regularly visits Hillcrest Juvenile Detention facility visiting with young male offenders. In June, our Queen of Peace SVDP Conference provided funds to assist these young inmates to create clothing items for residents of a local shelter.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE POSITION PAPER
For the SVdP Position Paper on Restorative Justice, see http://www.svdpusa.org/members/Programs-Tools/Programs/Voice-of-the-Poor/Position-Papers
For further resources on Restorative Justice see: http://catholicsmobilizing.org/programs/restorative-justice/ to edit.