Imagine that you are about to walk out into the world with no car, no job, nowhere to live, and you don’t know who – if anyone – is willing to help you get back on your feet? What’s it like for a woman – a mom, a daughter, a spouse – to walk into the world after 2 years, 10 years, or 20 years behind bars? The Mediation Center provides an opportunity for women within 6 months of release from prison to meet with the people they will need to depend upon on the outside.
Offender Aid & Rehabilitation (OAR) of North Carolina is a non-profit organization founded to help ex-offenders find the resources they need to re-enter society. It’s a challenge to make the transition back to society and get your life back on track. OAR of North Carolina provides assistance with:
- Establishing Housing: Helping offenders locate housing, including affordable housing, halfway housing and temporary housing. The eventual goal is to obtain permanent housing opportunities.
- GED Preparation Classes: A program that prepares offenders with the main goal being to complete or continue their education.
- Career Readiness Certification: This course will help the individual prepare for the Career Readiness Certification (CRC), a certification that helps offenders obtain employment. We assist individuals with the process of achieving their certification.
- Re-entry Services: A specialized set of services designed to help an offender reintegrate into society. You work with a team to develop an individual development plan with a focus on transitional assistance and employment counseling.
- Community-Based Services: A select set of programs designed with the role of effectively reducing recidivism.
- Jail-Based Programs: Programs that begin within the criminal justice system. These usually deal with inmates on lesser charges and on lower levels of incarceration. An example is the Man Up Program – which focuses on the offender facing up to their responsibilities.
- Human Resource Development (HRD) Classes: Human Resource Development training, which deals with job interviewing techniques and computer skills needed for obtaining employment – this includes resume creation, computer lab work, and interview tips.
- Department of Motor Vehicles License Assistance: This is both a safety course and a program that prepares individuals to obtain a driver’s license.
- Success Stories & Testimonials: Interviews conducted with ex-offenders showcasing how successful these services are. These interviews highlight real life stories of former incarcerated individuals who have successfully transitioned back to society.
- Exodus Homes provides transitional to permanent supportive housing for homeless recovering addicts, alcoholics, and ex-offenders. Residents come from treatment programs, detox centers, hospitals, prisons, jails, homeless shelters, and other settings. Exodus Homes actively fosters leadership development among our residents whenever possible and appropriate.
- Coastal Horizons Center offers a critical link between the criminal justice system and treatment services. The primary functions of TASC are: to provide screening and assessment for those referred, provide referral and linkage to treatment services needed, ensure access to available services, as well as monitor and report treatment progress to the referring agent.
- Center for Community Transitions (CCT), offer three main programs to address the needs of those incarcerated or recently released from incarceration:
- The Center for Women is a 30-bed residential facility for women serving out the final years of their prison sentences. The foundational offering at the Center for Women is the work-release program, guiding women towards a place of productive living and independence.
- Lifeworks! is the longest running program of the organization and focuses on helping individuals with criminal records navigate the process of attaining and retaining employment.
- Families Doing Time is a program that is designed to help strengthen family bonds between an incarcerated loved one and her family and interrupt the cycle of intergenerational incarceration.
- FIRST at Blue Ridge, Inc. is a State of North Carolina licensed Residential Therapeutic Community for men and women with chronic substance use disorders. The program’s mission is to provide opportunity and guidance to those with addictions and assist them to make positive life changes in order to become responsible and productive members of society. The program includes classes, recovery meetings, individual and/or group therapy sessions, and job search assistance.
- The mission of the Community Success Initiative organization is to help individuals and communities be aware of personal growth and “success” principles, inspire others to reach their potential, and help to build vibrant and healthy communities. This website has a great resource page.
- Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness advocates for and supports persons transitioning from detention or institutions, or persons struggling with mental health/substance disorders while enhancing their self-efficacy, autonomy and equality.
- PROJECT RE-ENTRY assists former offenders returning to the community after serving prison sentences in avoiding the potential pitfalls associated with life after incarceration. The mission of the program is to improve the reintegration of ex-offenders, reduce criminal justice cost, and increase public safety. Project Re-Entry begins working with inmates prior to their release through a structured, group-based curriculum that is offered in designated state prison facilities. In addition to providing valuable information and education, pre-release sessions also allow Project Re-Entry staff to build trust and familiarity with inmates as they attempt to reconnect with the “outside” world. Inmates begin to think beyond the prison walls, overcome their own emotional barriers, and learn how to build healthy human connections.Along with the pre-release curriculum, Project Re-Entry also provides a variety of post-release services to pre-release program graduates after their release. Services address issues such as employment, education, deinstitutionalization, counseling, substance abuse, transportation, and family reintegration.
- As part of Project Re-Entry, there are Reentry Services for Buncombe County available at the courthouse located at 60 Court Plaza.